After two years’ development through extensive consultation with the golfing industry, the School of Service Industries at Bournemouth University has launched its exciting new degree programme in golf management.
The BSc (Hons) in Sports Management (Golf), a four year sandwich degree, commenced in October of last year with a first intake of 16 students.
Philip Ryland, the programme manager enthuses about this “exciting development for the School”, and this “innovative degree which prepares students for managerial positions within the golfing industry.”
Despite a recent increase in the number of golf-based degrees offered across the country, this programme is unique in its close partnership with the industry. Educational institutions across the country offer a range of courses in greenkeeping and, in more general terms, sports management. The Bournemouth degree has a clear focus that aims to provide students with the educational and vocational experience necessary to take up the challenge of golf club management in the 21st century.
During the first two years, students on the degree spend one day a week working alongside local secretaries/managers at one of a number of local golf clubs in the Bournemouth area supporting the programme.
“We have been very fortunate to enlist the full backing of golf clubs across the Bournemouth area and beyond,” says Ryland. “The support of the clubs themselves and the Dorset County Golf Union has been phenomenal.”
Andrew Blackwell, general manager at Crane Valley Golf Club says, “This programme effectively covers the wide range of skills required by future managers in the golfing industry.”
Neil Hallam-Jones, secretary/manager at Barton on Sea Golf Club says, “having been instrumental in setting up the programme, it is very satisfying to see the degree progressing so well. The local clubs are not only providing valuable work experience for the students, but also, because of the high calibre of the students on the programme, benefiting from a useful extra pair of hands one day a week.”
Maurice Hutchins, honorary secretary of the Dorset County Golf Union, says, “we are pleased to be associated with Bournemouth University and its innovative and exciting new degree programme.”
To further its support for the students’ studies on the programme, the University has purchased ‘Smart Golf’, a world class state-of-the-art golf simulator. The simulator provides the opportunity to play on one of 22 world-famous golf courses and includes advanced technology to enable accurate golf view and swing analysis.
The School itself has good links with industry across Europe, through Canada, the United States and Australasia. Discussions are continuing with a number of leading golfing bodies in the hope that, as the degree develops, it will provide students with the opportunity to gain additional qualifications as well as invaluable experience through a 40-week industrial placement in the 3rd year of the programme.
“We have identified a number of golfing clubs and sports complexes prepared to provide a placement experience for our students and are currently looking for more,” says Philip Ryland. “We hope that the majority of our students will go abroad. It is too early to suggest where graduates will find themselves ultimately, but the School itself is justly proud of its reputation with graduate employment, which currently stands at 87%. It is anticipated that graduates from this degree will take up positions with golfing complexes as well as golf retail, sports and golf event management and golf tourism companies and organisations.”
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