A Career in Golf (No Handicap Required)

By Jen Haley

Imagine making $300k a year and spending most of your time on a golf course. Sound like a fantasy? It's not for Tom Isaak, superintendent at Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland, Calif. And he doesn't want it to be out of reach for the city's high schoolers either.

Isaak helps run the Oakland Turf Grass Initiative at the golf course, a program developed to teach high school students how to land a job as a golf course superintendent.

Watch the video below for a day in the life of a Lighthouse Community Charter School student at turf school:

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So... what do golf course superintendents do exactly? They manage the landscaped grounds and make sure the course is playable year-round. And while they may not pull in six figures right away, superintendent salaries average from $70,000 to $80,000 a year. "Our hope is that the program will lead to careers, that it will stimulate an interest and provide a foundation that will ultimately take them into careers in the industry," Isaak says.

At the end of the day-long program, high school students leave knowing the various kinds of turf grass and landscaping equipment. They also learn about the eco-friendly practices of the industry. "We start introducing them to the environmental challenges that we have," Ingram says, "and what we do to not only accept the environmental issues, but improve them in some capacity."

Want more information on the program? Check out Oaklandturf.org.