Golf is a large business, with revenues exceeding $69 billion each year. With the endorsement of the National Golf Course Owners Association, the University of Wisconsin-Stout has developed a specialization in Golf Enterprise Management. This unique specialization offers students with an interest in the golf industry the opportunity to gain knowledge of the many facets of successfully managing a golf related business, including golf courses and clubs.

The specialization requires a total of 18-22 credits with four required courses in golf and golf enterprise management, a co-op or field experience in a golf enterprise venue and selective courses in supporting areas from business, hospitality and tourism, psychology and service management.


Who can enroll in the specialization?

Any student interested in Golf Enterprise Management can enroll. However, the Specialization is designed to work best for students in the following majors:

Frequently Asked Questions

Select a question below to reveal the answer:

I’m currently enrolled at UW-Stout. How do I declare a specialization in Golf Enterprise Management?

Contact the Registrar's Office at 107 Bowman Hall. You'll need to supply your official student name as it appears on your records, and your student ID number. Advise him that you wish to declare GEM as your specialization.

Upon completion of the requirements for the specialization, a notation will be attached to your transcript, and a certificate of completion will be issued advising that you have completed the requirements of the program.

I’m considering transferring to UW-Stout for the GEM specialization. How will my credits be counted toward a degree in Golf Enterprise Management?

These answers apply to transfer students in the following categories:

  • currently enrolled at another university in the UW system.
  • currently enrolled at a university in another state.
  • graduated with degree in other fields, and would like to return to college for a specialization in Golf Enterprise Management.
  • currently in a Community College program in Wisconsin or another state and would like to transfer to UW-Stout and the Golf Enterprise Management program.

All of the credits you've earned at an accredited post-secondary institution should transfer to UW-Stout. Credits to be applied to a specialization in Golf Enterprise Management will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Admissions Office. How credits would fit into the bachelor of science degree program will be determined when the curriculum has been developed and approved.

Transfer information is online here, or e-mail Linda Young at, or phone 715-232-1787. You'll be asked for a transcript of past academic work, and will need to fill out an enrollment application. This will establish your student status at UW-Stout.

I’m a high school student considering enrollment at UW-Stout and the Golf Enterprise Management program. How do I arrange a campus visit?

As high school graduation approaches, you might like to arrange for an appointment to visit the campus during preview days or schedule a personal visit to the campus.

Is there a player aptitude test required to obtain this degree?

The university does not require a player aptitude test, but feels strongly that persons who enter the GEM program should have deep interests in the game and or the business of the game of golf.

Why did UW-Stout decide to offer a degree in GEM?

As the business of the game of golf has become more complex, and profit-motivated future owners or managers are needed, industry has approached UW-Stout to help develop a comprehensive new golf management program.

Keystone grants have been received from The TORO Giving Program, Bill Gehrand, a committed UW-Stout Alumnus, and the Kohler Company. Further proof of industry need and acceptance has been shown by the National Golf Course Owners Association, which has unanimously endorsed the new GEM program.

These industry representatives have challenged the University to develop conventional, as well as gender and minority opportunities, in golf management and related fields. The program will stress "best business," practices, and business acumen rather than player aptitude.

How will I obtain practical experience in the golf industry?

An active internship/coop program will be implemented to assure graduates of the GEM program will be exposed to current successful business techniques. While ultimate employment opportunities cannot be promised, the scope of the golf industry and the many facets of its primary and secondary markets suggest industry is looking for the skills and leadership training obtained in the new GEM program.

Why UW-Stout?

UW-Stout has an enviable reputation in programs ranging from Business, to Hospitality and Tourism, to Retail Merchandising, Psychology, and Science. As the only institution of higher learning ever to have received the coveted Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, this honor weighed heavily in the unanimous endorsement of the National Golf Course Owners Association, as well as financial support from keystone givers to the program. The confluence of these facts makes UW-Stout the perfect university to offer new leadership in golf management for the 21st century.

For more information, contact

Kris Schoonover, Specialization Coordinator
442 Heritage Hall
University of Wisconsin-Stout
Menomonie, WI 54751-0790

Phone: 715-232-2364