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Sports Turf /Golf Greenkeeper Level 2 Apprenticeship

In Brief

Start Date / Duration

You can start an apprenticeship at any time. You will need an employer to employ you as an apprentice and will have completed your College departmental induction. This course runs for 25 months and one day.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements will be determined by individual employers but typically potential apprentices will have a minimum of five GCSEs at Grades 3/D or above (including maths, English and Science) or other equivalent vocational qualifications. Employers who recruit apprentices without the above levels of qualifications will have to ensure they achieve Level 1 in English and maths as part of their apprenticeship.

  • The functional skills minimum requirement is Level 1 in English and maths and to sit the Level 2 English and maths Functional Skills examinations in order to access the gateway to the end point assessments for your apprenticeship standard.
  • A DBS check may be required by your employer.
  • You will need to find an employer to employ you as an apprentice.

Please see our apprenticeship vacancies to see our current opportunities.


You will achieve

  •  Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard – Sports Turf – Golf Greenkeeper (Pass, Merit or Distinction)
  • City & Guilds Level 2 Horticulture Diploma Sports Turf Greenkeeper (Pass grade only)

Course overview

A Golf Greenkeeper is responsible for the maintenance, care and overall appearance of a golf course in line with the 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 turf grass areas on a golf course – greens, tees, fairways and areas of rough – each of which require a different type of maintenance. Using a range of equipment and machinery safely and competently will play a major part in the apprenticeship 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.

A career as a Golf Greenkeeper can take you wherever the game of golf is played. As new countries are embracing the sport and more golf courses are being built, there is no better time to consider joining this great profession.

Click here for further information regarding the Standard Apprenticeship.

Course content

You will cover all the necessary knowledge, practical skills and personal behaviours required to be a Golf Greenkeeper including:

  • Maintaining good standards of health and safety for self and others.
  • Preparing the golf course for play which will include removing early morning dew and debris from the greens, raking bunkers, moving tee markers and cutting new holes on greens.
  • Preparing and using 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.
  • Applying turf treatments to help produce quality playing surfaces including fertilisers and top dressing.
  • Using a variety of integrated methods to control weeds, fungal diseases, pests and turf disorders.
  • Maintaining and renovating bunkers and other hazards such as water features.
  • Maintaining drainage and irrigation systems.
  • Preparing ground to establish turf and plants when maintaining, renovating and constructing golf course features.

A Golf Greenkeeper must also understand the following technical knowledge:

  • 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 including 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.
  • Awareness 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.

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

 Apprenticeship Standard – Golf Greenkeeper

 The final assessment will contain three components. All components must be passed for the apprentice to be deemed competent. These form 100% of the overall final assessment.

  • A synoptic underpinning knowledge paper (30% of overall grade).
  • A synoptic practical assessment (50% of overall grade).
  • A personal statement (20% of overall grade).

 Level 2 Diploma Horticulture – Sports Turf Greenkeeper

 You will be continually assessed in the workplace of your practical competences. You will produce a written knowledge portfolio to underpin all mandatory units.

All equipment will be provided

You will study within the workplace and attend classes at Barnsley College, Wigfield Farm campus, Haverlands Lane, Worsborough, Barnsley, S70 5NQ.

This standard is recognised by the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), the Professional Body for Greenkeepers.  At the start of the apprenticeship the apprentice will be registered with BIGGA. Upon completion of this standard the apprentice will be eligible to join BIGGA as a full member and become a BIGGA Accredited Greenkeeper.

The successful apprentice will have the opportunity to progress on to a higher level apprenticeship standard.

You may also wish to consider full-time FE and HE studies on completion of the higher level apprenticeship standard.

Job opportunities will also be enhanced for those apprentices who have completed the programme with promotion to more senior positions within a golf club facility or the option to progress by working in other sports facilities such as a Grounds Maintenance Operator/Technician.

How much does the course cost?

There is no cost to being an apprentice. All costs associated with your apprenticeship, including the cost of training and your salary, will be paid by your employer.

Extra information

For further information please contact the team on 01226 216166 or email: apprenticeships@barnsley.ac.uk



Barnsley College has a range of sports opportunities for all students to take part in, gain professional training and compete nationally and internationally. We also have a state-of-the-art fitness village, Honeywell Sports Village where students can make use of our fitness suite, spinning studio and classes for competitive rates. You don’t have to be studying sport to get involved in the Sports Academy.

Our Additional Learning Support team can provide you with the support you need. Please contact them on +44 (0)1226 216 769.

Having good English and Maths qualifications are important for most careers and we want to give you the help you need to succeed.

If you are aged 16 – 19 and don’t already have a grade C/4 or above in GCSE English and Maths they will automatically be included in your study programme. If you want to work towards higher grades in English and Maths we can help you do that too.

Need a higher level Maths qualification? We offer a Level 3 Mathematical Studies (Core Maths).

This can be added to your study programme.

If you need any further information, please contact our friendly Information Team.

Please note we reserve the right to change details without notice. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Sports Turf /Golf Greenkeeper Level 2 Apprenticeship

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