B.S. Golf Enterprise Management

Are you passionate about golf?
Degree Type Bachelor of Science
Careers and Salary Annual Employment Report
Delivery On Campus or Online

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

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
  • Food and beverage management
  • Turf management
  • Selection and maintenance of equipment and supplies needed to keep your courses in prime playing condition
  • Retail sales
  • Service 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.


100% of Our Graduates are Employed or Continuing Education

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.

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.

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.

GEM Advisory Board

2018 GEM Advisory Board

  • Robert Davies, Program Director
  • 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
  • Ken Fournier Jr., Operations Director; Event Solutions LLC
  • Garrett Gill, Golf Course Architect; Gill Design, Inc.
  • Ras Lall, Owner/Operator, Tanglewood Greens
  • Bill Larson, Superintendent; Town & Country Golf Club
  • Jim Maguire, General Manager, Tanglewood Greens
  • Scott Merchant, Founder/Sales Director; GolfPipeline
  • Eric Pierce, Partner; Medalist Management Group, LLC
  • Janell Reitz, Academic Department Associate-School of Hospitality Leadership; UW-Stout
  • Patrick Renner, The Wilson Group
  • Frank Romano, Owner/Operator; Scenic View Country Club
  • Howie Samb, Professor; UW-Stout
  • Kristine Schoonover, Professor; UW-Stout
  • Jeff Schwister, Executive Director; Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin
  • Greg Stoeger, Partner; Yamaha Golf
  • Steve Willock, General Manager, Oak March Golf, Oakdale MN
  • Mandy Wolbert, Student Services Specialist; UW-Stout

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Get Your GEM Degree Online

UW-Stout's online Bachelor of Science Degree in Golf Enterprise Management is the only program of its type to be endorsed by the National Golf Course Owners Association.

Online Program Highlights

  • Courses delivered 100% online by full-time faculty
  • Consistent Fall, Spring, and Summer program course offerings
  • Support from Adult Student Services Coordinators and Distance Librarians

Our full-time tenured or tenure-track program faculty have worked to create an enhanced learning environment that provides you with multiple opportunities to develop a broad array of management skills and knowledge.

Online Costs, Application and Transfer Information 

UW-Stout's Bachelor of Science Degree in Golf Enterprise Management can be completed online and leads to rewarding careers in golf management and golf-related businesses. 


  •  $334 per undergraduate credit — customized instruction rate.

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.


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.

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." 


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