B.S. Golf Enterprise Management

Are you passionate about golf?
Degree Type Bachelor of Science
Careers & Salaries Annual Employment Report
Delivery On Campus

UW-Stout's Bachelor of Science Degree in Golf Enterprise Management (GEM) is the only program of its type to be endorsed by the National Golf Course Owners Association. Our faculty of golf enterprise professionals will prepare you for a rewarding career in golf management and golf-related businesses.

The UW-Stout Golf Enterprise Management (GEM) program was developed at the request of golf industry professionals to address their management needs. / UW-Stout

Program Highlights

Building a career in the business of golf. Whether you want to be a golf professional, operations manager at a golf course, or work on your dream of owning your own golf course like Indy Thompson, GEM alum and General Manager at Big Fish Golf Course in Eau Claire, WI.

You'll gain a world of experience in the golf field, connecting with golf industry professionals, and gaining hands-on experience through paid internships at top facilities all over the world. Internship experiences have taken our students to:

  • Private clubs and resorts throughout the United States, including Congressional Country Club in Maryland, Pebble Beach in California, and the Greenbrier in West Virginia
  • International golf courses in Asia, Europe, and South America
  • Companies such as Titleist, Callaway Golf, Taylor Made, Golf Galaxy, GolfTec, and FootJoy

In addition to world-class internships, you’ll have opportunities to assist with major PGA Tour events. And online course options allow for as little as 21 months on campus, enabling you to begin your career while finishing your degree.

You will graduate from UW-Stout with a broad array of skills and knowledge, including:

  • Events management, such as tournaments, league play, and golf outings
  • Turf management including selection and maintenance of equipment and supplies needed to keep your courses in prime playing condition
  • Retail sales and service management
  • Food and beverage management
  • Marketing your courses effectively to create customer loyalty and recruit new customers
  • Human resource management

This degree is about the business of golf, not the game of golf — there is no player aptitude requirement for admission.


Program Overview

View program plans, credit requirements and course descriptions.



Visit the Stout University Foundation Scholarships page for more information on how to apply for a scholarship. It's easy to apply, one application will automatically qualify you for any foundation scholarship for which you meet the criteria.

  • Wilson Golf Group Scholarship: 2 awards of $1,000 each annual
  • Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin Scholarship: $500 annual
  • John Wesolek Golf Enterprise Management: $500 annual
  • Sten Pierce Memorial Endowed Scholarship: $500 annual

The Scholarship Committee reviews applications and announces award recipients in the Spring.

Don Rossi Scholarship Fund

The Don Rossi Scholarship Fund was created in 1993 by the National Golf Course Owners’ Association, based here in Charleston. This year, we expect two or three awards ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 each to be given. Applications are being sent to colleges and universities nationwide.

The Don Rossi Scholarship, managed by Coastal Community Foundation of SC, is available to rising juniors or seniors who are majoring in Sports Administration, Golf Enterprise Management or Sports Management, and who intend to pursue a career in a golf-related field.

Don A. Rossi made significant contributions to the game of golf and its growth, and inspired others by his example. He was president of the National Golf Foundation from 1970 to 1983, during which time he was instrumental in forming the National Golf Course Owners Association. Mr. Rossi also served as Executive Director of the Golf Course Builders Association of America from 1984 to 1990.

Don Rossi Scholarship applications are accepted by the Coastal Community Foundation of SC through the web-based program until March 15, 2021. Applicants will be notified of the decision of the Awards Committee by early June 2021.

The future success of the industry depends on the availability of golf business professionals who have a keen understanding of financials, marketing, economics and sales. At the same time, the tradition of golf must be maintained, with a strong focus on player development, agronomy and - most importantly - customer service. These are the skills you'll learn in this unique program.

Photo of Jazz Tulde"I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the UW-Stout GEM program. The hands-on learning, small classes, and the great professors I had while I was at UW-Stout helped me learn a great amount of information which helped me get a leg up in the golf industry. Not only did I have a great education, but I also created some lifelong friends while attending UW-Stout. I am definitely proud to call myself a Stout Alum."

-- Jazz Tulda, Junior Golf Coordinator
Iowa Section PGA

Photo of Rachel Hernandez“Not many people can say they were able to major in the sport they love and play. Through UW-Stout’s Golf Enterprise Management program, I was able to learn and take on real life experiences in the golf industry, as well as having a successful collegiate golf career. Through connections and networking in the GEM program, I was able to complete internships in different aspects of the golf industry, such as working at a golf course to tournament administration at a state golf association. Through those experiences, I am currently working in the golf industry at the Minnesota Golf Association where I can say I love my job and continue learning every day, and I still have the opportunity to compete and play the game I love.”

--Rachel Hernandez, Member Services Manager
Minnesota Golf Association

"The GEM Program allows us to learn about the business of golf and grow our skills that will lead us to careers in the hospitality industry. I enjoyed being able to study abroad and learn not only about myself but also about the world around me."

-- Ryan Glodowski
B.S. Golf Enterprise Management 

Use the Request Information form to receive a program summary and learn more about the Bachelor of Science degree in Golf Enterprise Management.

Request Information

National Golf Course Owners AssociationThe National Golf Course Owners Association endorses the UW-Stout GEM program — the only endorsement of its kind ever conferred by the NGCOA. The NGCOA is the only trade association dedicated exclusively to golf course owners and operators. NGCOA members include owners, operators and general managers of daily-fee, semi-private, private and resort courses of all sizes. While diverse in its makeup, the association offers information and inspiration on how to operate golf facilities as efficiently and profitably as possible.

As a GEM student, you'll be eligible to join the National Collegiate Golf Club Association. Membership includes exclusive discounts and custom product offerings from the best brands in golf.

B.S. Golf Enterprise Management Online

Our enhanced online learning environment provides you with a broad array of golf management skills and knowledge.
Application and Transfer Information 


To apply for the online Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Communication and Emerging Media – Applied Communications concentration, you need to apply to UW-Stout.

Financial Aid

Students who are attending another institution, but are planning to receive their degree from UW-Stout, may be eligible to receive aid from UW‐Stout. In these cases, UW‐Stout is considered the Home Institution and the other campus is considered the Visiting Institution.

Transfer Students

Note: When filling out the application form, be sure to make a note in the student comment section that you intend to apply to the "online program." 

Preparing for Your Golf Enterprise Management Degree

High school courses such as business and communication — as well as mathematics and human relation skills - are recommended. Taking speech, marketing and computer classes will also help prepare you for this field of study.

During your first few semesters course will be a combination of general education and major foundation courses. General education courses include English composition, speech, mathematics and economics. As you progress, you'll learn about business, retail, plant and earth sciences, industrial management and service management.

As You Progress

Golf management - and related golf businesses — are complex activities that require a broad array of skills and knowledge. Courses in your junior and senior year focus on food and beverage management, retail sales, service management, turf management, marketing and human resource management.

As a course manager, you'll also need to know how to handle events management, such as tournaments, league play and golf outings. You'll learn to select and maintain the equipment and supplies needed to keep your courses in prime playing condition, and market your courses effectively to create customer loyalty and recruit new customers.

With help from your program director, you'll choose 29 elective credits to prepare for your specific career goals and objectives. You may decide to take a minor or specialization to fulfill the elective credits. Minors in areas such as business administration, human resource management, tourism, or Spanish give you the edge over the competition when looking for employment in the golf industry. Help with course and career choices is also available through the Advisement and Career Centers, the Counseling Center and Career Services.

This program has a strong experiential component. You'll complete two co-operative education or field experiences for a total of 800 hours. This practical experience will expose you to a broad variety of golf course operations and functions. The Career Services Office at UW-Stout and your program director will help you set up co-op education experiences in Golf Enterprise Management.

Career Opportunities

The general outlook for the future of golf course businesses in the U.S. remains positive. There are over 16,000 golf courses in the U.S. alone. Minnesota and Wisconsin rank among the leading states in the country for numbers of holes per capita, numbers of players and best courses. As a result, management careers in the golf industry are accessible and the salaries are attractive. Salaries do vary with location, experience and the type of golf facility.

In addition to careers in golf course management, graduates of the GEM program will be prepared for entry-level management within corporations that manage multiple courses, golf retail businesses, tourism businesses and many other golf-related businesses.

GEM Advisory Board

2020 GEM Advisory Board

Jon  Behling Senior Lecturer H&T; UW-Stout
Jim  Buyze Head Golf Professional Mill Run/Wild Ridge Golf Course
Mark  Dahms Small Business Owner Stout Alumni
John Sobota Program Director UW-Stout
Ken  Fournier Jr. Operations Director Event Solutions LLC
Garrett  Gill Golf Course Architect Gill Design, Inc.
Adam Chandler PGA Head Pro TPC Twin Cities
Scott  Merchant Founder/Sales Director GolfPipeline
Janell  Reitz Academic Department Associate School of Hospitality Leadership; UW-Stout
Patrick  Renner President The Wilson Group 
Howie  Samb Professor UW-Stout
Kristine  Schoonover Professor UW-Stout
Jeff  Schwister Executive Director Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin
Brad Powers PGA Operations Ryder Cup 2020 Ryder Cup 2020
Steve  Willock General Manager Oak March Golf, Oakdale MN 
Mandy  Wolbert Student Services Specialist UW-Stout

Golf Enterprise Management

All Golf Enterprise Management News

Golf management alum, students adding Ryder Cup to their resumes

When the biennial Ryder Cup begins this week in Wisconsin, UW-Stout and its golf management program will be well represented.

With experience and golf management degree, age no barrier for 23-year-old new course owner

If Indiana “Indy” Thompson was like most new college graduates, he’d be dipping his toes into the “real world” a little at a time.

Alum passes qualifying test to earn spot in prestigious PGA Championship

A 34-year-old UW-Stout alumni and former Blue Devil golfer realized a lifelong dream recently.