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Business of Golf & Resort Management

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Management courses customized for the golf & resort industry

Course Descriptions


Courses may be taken in any order and are delivered in a collaborative  asynchronous online format.

There are no prerequisites for any courses.

You can take as many courses as you require to meet specific training needs. By completing all 10 courses individuals earn a Diploma in Business of Golf & Resort Management from McMaster University and a Certificate of Recognition from the Golf Management Institute of Canada. By completing any 5 courses an individual will earn a Certificate in Business of Golf & Resort Management. 

Program content is based on common areas of knowledge and skills for those working in the golf and resort industries.

Each course will bridge theory and practical experience through a combination of experiential learning (i.e. case studies, discussions, and presentations) and more traditional teaching methods. Emerging trends and practices will be incorporated into coursework to ensure that all content is current and relevant.

GLF 101 Entrepreneurship in the Golf Industry (3 Units)

This course introduces students to the concept of entrepreneurship and assesses their potential as future entrepreneurs in the golf industry. Students will be encouraged to explore their business ideas and learn how to conduct a feasibility study. The curriculum includes teaching students how to identify opportunities and develop strategies by recognizing the environmental factors that affect all businesses. Finally, students will learn how to organize their business idea into a concrete business plan, incorporating the entrepreneurial concepts taught throughout the course.

GLF 102 Human Resources Management for Golf Operations (3 Units)

A successful golf enterprise requires knowledgeable and well-trained staff. This course focuses on the professional application of human resource management practices as they pertain to the golf industry. Specifically, all aspects of people management will be covered, including hiring, compensation, training and development, health and safety, performance management, and employment law.

GLF 103 Business Law for Golf Managers (3 Units)

Legal issues affecting the golf industry such as the law of contracts, torts, occupational health and safety, environmental protection, food and liquor liability, and general negligence will be covered in this course. Different forms of business organizations will also be discussed. The legal responsibilities of the golf course owner to protect his/her employees, the public and the golf course itself will also be explained. Students will be given opportunities to discuss and debate these often-contentious issues online in a live chat environment.

GLF 104 Finance for Non-Financial Managers in the Golf Industry (3 Units)

Finance for Non-Financial Managers in the golf industry teaches decision-makers in the golf industry how to understand and properly use financial data. In this course students will learn how to identify the financial information required to address specific management issues and problems, assess the short- and long-term financial impact of resource allocation decisions and be able to effectively interpret a golf operation’s financial statements. The manager's role in budgeting and forecasting will be explored using cases, annual reports and industry research.

GLF 105 Golf Club Governance (3 Units)

Understanding the dynamics of boards and committees at any golf facility is crucial to ensuring an effective operation. Board structures in a private course setting will be discussed in detail. The decision-making process at golf clubs and board and committee dynamics will also be covered. Club strategy and policy matters will be explored as well as the role of golf associations and their involvement in the golf industry. Throughout the course, students will acquire a working knowledge of the concepts associated with effective club management through insightful discussion groups, involved assignments and readings.

GLF 106 Hospitality Management (3 Units)

This course provides a complete overview of all the foundations for hospitality management in the golf industry. The course provides students with the opportunity to learn about specific areas in a food and beverage operation, including product knowledge, service, financial management, purchasing and control systems. In addition, students will perform practical and applicable exercises and projects related to managing a successful hospitality management operation.

GLF 107 Retail Management in Golf Operations (3 Units)

Successfully managing a golf shop is an integral component of a golf facility’s overall operation. Topics such as seasonality, inventory management, customer identification and service, display techniques and promotional ideas for generating additional revenues for the pro shop will be addressed. Students will acquire knowledge of retail merchandising principles and understand the differences of the various target markets that frequent a typical golf retail operation (both private and public facilities). Formulating buying plans for both hard and soft goods, establishing pricing strategies and inventory controls, as well as developing merchandising strategies through effective advertising and promotional strategies are covered.

GLF 108 Golf Course Design & Construction - Turf Management (3 Units)

This course addresses golf course design principles and turf management practices. In golf course design, students will learn how the golf course architect designs the golf course throughout all phases of the development. In addition to designing a new facility, students will learn how to renovate and/or expand an existing facility. The processes of obtaining permits and dealing with local authorities about environmental issues associated in golf course development will also be discussed. In Turf Management, the fundamentals of golf course maintenance are addressed. Topics such as grass and soil identification, drainage systems, equipment use in maintenance procedures as well as establishing and successfully implementing a turf management program will be covered. An introduction to pesticides and fertilizers will also be included.

GLF 109 Marketing Management in Golf Operations (3 Units)

Participants will apply the basic components of marketing and marketing research in the development of a marketing plan for a golf facility. Various strategies required to ensure a successful marketing environment will be introduced (segment and positioning, product, distribution, pricing and promotion strategies). Students will learn to analyze and segment markets, identify target markets and design and develop a strategic marketing plan that meets the needs of the specified target market. Through cases and examples, students will also develop an appreciation for trends and issues in today’s marketing environment. In addition, the significance of sponsorship and endorsements in marketing a special sports event will be covered.

GLF 110 Strategic Management in Golf Operations (3 Units)

Successful managers are able to integrate and synthesize the many facets of management, leadership, finance and human relations into their management decisions. This course teaches aspiring managers how to develop operating strategies for all areas of a golf operation. As key decision-makers, students will be expected to develop and implement product, pricing, promotion and human resource strategies and analyze the impact of their decisions on the organization.