Level 2 Golf Greenkeeper Apprenticeship - Writtle University College
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Level 2 Golf Greenkeeper Apprenticeship

Writtle University College are excited to be rolling out the new Golf Greenkeeper Apprenticeship Standard, which has been specifically designed by employers to meet the needs of industry and provide you with the skills and knowledge to succeed in your industry.

The Apprenticeship provides a blend of practical hands on experience with the underpinning knowledge. At the end of the Apprenticeship you will be required to complete an independent End-Point Assessment to prove you have gained the required skills to achieve the Apprenticeship.

A Golf Greenkeeper is responsible for the maintenance, care and overall appearance of a golf course in line with employer's requirements. It is their job to maintain a good quality playing surface and ensure the course offers a consistent challenge and an enjoyable experience for golfers.

There are four key turfgrass areas on a golf course - greens, tees, fairways and areas of rough, each of which requires a different type of maintenance. Using a range of equipment and machinery safely and competently will play a major part within an apprentices training programme. Golf Greenkeepers will also be involved in hazard, environmental and ecological operations which may include bunker maintenance, planting turf, trees, shrubs and developing wildlife habitats. The skills required to become a competent greenkeeper will be acquired whilst working on the golf course.

By the end of the programme, the apprentice will know when, how and why the range of maintenance operations are carried out.

You will:

  • Work in your chosen industry for a minimum of 30 hours per week.
  • Get paid a minimum of the Apprenticeship Wage (gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates).
  • Study in a flexible way - students attend College one day a week and work with their employer for the rest of the week.
  • Be assessed and graded with either a pass, merit or distinction at the end of your programme by an Independent Assessment Organisation.
  • Complete Functional Skills in English and Maths or there is the option to study for Maths and English GCSE (depending on previous qualifications)*.
  • Complete work-related tasks and assessments.
  • Receive mentoring visits in your workplace from your Writtle University College Training Officer, who will provide support, assess and review your progress.
  • Gain a City & Guilds accredited and nationally recognised qualification.

Course Content

Maintenance Skills

A Golf Greenkeeper must be able to:

  • Maintain good standards of health and safety for self and others
  • Prepare the golf course for play which will include removing early morning dew and debris from the greens, raking bunkers, moving tee markers, cutting new holes on greens
  • Prepare and use equipment and machinery to maintain and renovate all turf surfaces within the golf course, including the use of tractors, ride-on machines, and specialist equipment
  • Apply turf treatments to help produce quality playing surfaces, including fertilisers and top dressing
  • use a variety of integrated methods to control weeds, fungal diseases, pests and turf disorders
  • Maintain and renovate bunkers and other hazards such as water features
  • Maintain drainage and irrigation systems
  • Prepare ground to establish turf and plants when maintaining, renovating and constructing golf course features

Knowledge and Understanding

A Golf Greenkeeper must understand the following technical knowledge:

  • Identify their role in monitoring and maintaining health and safety within the workplace
  • Identification of a number of grasses, weeds, pests, diseases, turf disorders, plants and trees
  • The primary aspects of soil and plant biology to include the process of germination - photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration
  • The principles of mowing and machine maintenance and their operation
  • The need and implications of rolling, verti-cutting, scarification and aeration
  • The strategies for controlling weeds, pests, diseases and turf disorders
  • How fertilisers, top dressing and chemicals affect playing surfaces
  • How course maintenance practices affect the environment
  • Basic information technology
  • Be aware of the importance of the Rules of Golf and golf course etiquette
  • Recognise the importance of environmental and ecological best practice
  • The operation of irrigation, drainage systems and their maintenance

The Behaviours of a Golf Greenkeeper

Golf club employers are very customer focused and require their apprentices to have a set of personal skills and behaviours that will ensure success in their current and future roles as an individual and in meeting the company's aims and objectives.

The behaviours required by golf club employees will be:

  • Have a strong work ethic including pride in work, attention to detail, integrity and time management
  • Have a flexible positive attitude to work
  • Ability to work as a lone worker and as a member of a team
  • A willingness to learn and contribute to their own continuing professional development
  • Having a safety mindset for self, colleagues and golfers
  • A clear and effective communicator who can use a variety of communication methods to give/receive information accurately and in a timely and positive manner
  • Problem solving and effective decision making

What are the progression options?

After completing an Apprenticeship at level 2, the natural progression route would be to progress on to the level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship, after which the option for continuing study would be to progress in to Higher Education or alternatively the Apprentice can progress in to full time employment within the industry.

How do I apply?

An apprentice needs to be in paid employment, so whilst you can apply for the Apprenticeship before you find an employer, you'll need to be employed before you can start the course. Many of our Apprentices already worked or volunteered for the companies who then decide to support them through their Apprenticeship. We are always happy to provide your employers with the information they need regarding potentially employing an Apprentice and can offer advice, however small or large businesses may be.

I don't have an employer

If you are interested in becoming an Apprentice, but don't have an employer please visit our website for tips on how to find an employer and to see a list of our current Apprenticeship vacancies.

I have an employer

If you have secured or are already in relevant paid employment with an employer willing to support you through the apprenticeship please complete the application form.