The Spanish Golf Managers Association, in collaboration with two of the top Spanish professionals in golf course management and training, has launched a unique golf management course.

The postgraduate course consists of 300 contact hours spread over 30 weekends and 720 practical hours over four months, with the possibility of also taking the Advanced Programme module of 200 practical hours with a prestigious golf director. The total number of classroom sessions will be 300, plus 720 hours of practical training over four months.This ambitious training project arises from the union of two professionals who have been linked to management and training within the golf industry for the past 15 years, and their collaboration with the Spanish Golf Managers Association. After directing two of the best golf course management courses in Spain, they decided to combine their expertise to create a unique training programme. The result is a course for the management and direction of golf courses that combines all the knowledge and expertise of these professionals - who have worked for many years in the sector - with the most modern and innovative marketing techniques applied to golf courses.

Salvador Alvarez boasts one of the most impressive careers in the management and operation of golf courses. In addition to chairing the Spanish Golf Managers Association, he has always been linked to teaching and has played the part of a consultant for many top golf courses. He even created a school which was attended by many managers and directors who are today working in the world of golf. He is currently the General Manager of Guadalhorce Golf Club.

Antonio Conde burst into the golf industry a few years ago, revolutionizing marketing methods for golf courses, particularly in the online market. He is an expert in optimizing the opportunities that the internet creates for the industry. Besides constantly launching new projects linked to the world of golf like, he has been in charge of various commercial projects over the last few years.

One of the features of this course is its partnership with prestigious professionals in the golf industry. To that end, the directors of the programme and the Association of Spanish Golf Course Managers work continuously to ensure that the students of the course receive the best tuition possible.

There are many directors, managers, companies and professionals linked to the golf industry who are involved in the Advanced Course for Golf Course Management and Administration, among which we highlight: Javier Reviriego, General Manager of Valderrama; David Gómez, Director of the Green Section of the Spanish Golf Federation; Miguel Girbés, General Manager of the PGA Catalunya Resort; Luis de Vierna, International Golf Consultant; José María Zamora, Tournament Director of the European Tour; and Ignacio del Cuvillo Cano, General Manager of Guadalmina Golf.

The content of the course combines the experience of golf managers - with careers spanning more than 20 years - with the techniques and approaches used by the younger directors who are trained in new technologies, especially from a marketing point of view.

The programme offers the student a comprehensive training course which is closely linked to business reality. It will develop your knowledge and skills using a practical approach through active involvement of the students.

The course’s theoretical element is taught across 30 weekends and has a total of 300 contact hours, with classes between 4pm-9pm on Friday afternoons and between 9am-2pm on Saturday mornings for those who have to work during the week. In addition to this, there is a practical element of the course of 720 hours that can be done at most golf courses in Spain. Finally, there is a 200-hour advanced module giving students the opportunity to work alongside prestigious golf course directors.

The golf course management and administration course lasts one academic year, from October to June, distributed across 30 weekends. Classroom sessions will be every Friday afternoon, or Saturday mornings for those who currently work during the week.

Finally, there is an Advanced Program where students who have passed the Advanced Course for Golf Course Management and Administration will have access to live the day-to-day life of a golf course manager for 200 hours spread over 8 weeks. They will work closely with the director of a golf course over 8 weeks and will even have the opportunity to rotate between different golf clubs and directors if they prefer.

“We’ve brought together the crème de la crème of Spanish golf”

He has accumulated extensive teaching experience in the golf industry and is a restless entrepreneur who has overseen the birth of companies of the calibre of, the golf holidays website. Here Antonio Conde gives us some insight into the Advanced Course for Golf Course Management and Administration.

What are the keys to the course?

In reality, there are many aspects, but above all there are two strategic points. In the first place, it’s a course without any cracks. Thanks to the experience of both Varo (Salvador Álvarez) and me in the coordination of our respective courses previously, we have aimed to cover all the gaps and weaknesses that we have detected over the years.

In the second place, it is important to highlight the teaching team. If we add to this the fact we have the managers of the two courses with the most impressive impact on the international stage, Valderrama and PGA de Cataluña, and the experience of such managers as Pedro Morán from Puerta de Hierro, the result is an unprecedented programme when it comes to golf course management teaching.

In what way is this course different to others that might have current similarities?

As I noted before, we have made a great effort to ensure there is nothing missing. One good example of this is the practical part. Thanks to our close collaboration with the Spanish Association of Golf Managers, the agreements we are signing with Spain’s top managers enables students to enjoy unprecedented practice opportunities. We are making sure that those who take the course have a genuine golf course management and administration experience. They will not – as has been the case with other courses – be left to the mercy of the good intentions of staff at the courses taking them on, but will be guided by a specific programme.

To whom is this course aimed?

This course has been created for those people who are either working in the sector or who feel passionate about the world of golf and are clear that their future involves working in golf course management. One of the main problems that many programmes of this kind encounter is the heterogeneous nature of students as far as their golf knowledge is concerned, which makes it difficult for teachers when proceeding with the programme. To avoid these situations we are working along two lines: on the one side, to refine the selection process very well; and on the other, we have developed a “initiation into the world of golf programme”, specifically designed for those who, while meeting the right conditions to take the course, do not have sufficient levels of golf knowledge to begin the main programme. This “introduction module” will be completely free for any student selected.

Can the course be taken by correspondence?

At the moment no. We believe firmly that one of the strengths of the course is its contact with the lecturers, who don’t only give classes but also share their experiences with the students, further enriching the quality of course. What we do have is an e- learning platform so students can have access to the contents at all times, and which is the nexus of union between the student body and the teaching staff.

Where and during what times is the course held?

The first edition of the advanced course for golf course management will be held in Marbella, although we are planning a new call for enrolments that will probably be in Madrid or Barcelona. The classes will be held Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings, to facilitate attendance by people who are currently working, and they will be at a golf course, as we want the students to become closely involved in the operation of a golf course throughout the course.