B.S. Golf Enterprise Management

Our online golf management bachelor's degree is the only program of its type to be endorsed by the National Golf Course Owners Association.
Degree Type Bachelor of Science
CAREERS AND SALARY Annual Employment Report
Delivery Online

UW-Stout's online Bachelor of Science degree in Golf Enterprise Management (GEM) prepares you for a variety of managment positions in the golf industry and related businesses. The program is ideal if you're committed to living or working away from campus. Our unique distance learning program will prepare to manage golf course operations, ensure appropriate maintenance of golf facilities and equipment, as well as integrate the play of golf into the broader hospitality and recreation domain.

The UW-Stout Golf Enterprise Management (GEM) program was developed at the request of golf industry professionals to address their management needs. / UW-Stout

Enhanced Online Learning

  • Courses delivered 100% online by full-time faculty
  • Consistent Fall, Spring, and Summer program course offerings
  • Support from Adult Student Services Coordinators and Distance Librarians

Our golf industry expreinced faculty have worked to create an enhanced online learning environment that provides you with multiple opportunities to develop a broad array of management skills and knowledge. Our customized instruction format will provide you with opportunities for success in your academic, professional, and personal life.


Program Overview

View program plans, credit requirements and course descriptions.


Program Highlights

Building a career in the business of golf. Whether you want to be a golf professional, operations manager at a golf course, or work on your dream of owning your own golf course like Indy Thompson, GEM alum and General Manager at Big Fish Golf Course in Eau Claire, WI.

You'll gain a world of experience in the golf field, connecting with golf industry professionals, and gaining hands-on experience through paid internships at top facilities all over the world. Internship experiences have taken our students to:

  • Private clubs and resorts throughout the United States, including Congressional Country Club in Maryland, Pebble Beach in California, and the Greenbrier in West Virginia
  • International golf courses in Asia, Europe, and South America
  • Companies such as Titleist, Callaway Golf, Taylor Made, Golf Galaxy, GolfTec, and FootJoy

In addition to world-class internships, you’ll have opportunities to assist with major PGA Tour events. And online course options allow for as little as 21 months on campus, enabling you to begin your career while finishing your degree.

You will graduate from UW-Stout with a broad array of skills and knowledge, including:

  • Events management, such as tournaments, league play, and golf outings
  • Turf management including selection and maintenance of equipment and supplies needed to keep your courses in prime playing condition
  • Retail sales and service management
  • Food and beverage management
  • Marketing your courses effectively to create customer loyalty and recruit new customers
  • Human resource management

This degree is about the business of golf, not the game of golf — there is no player aptitude requirement for admission.


Visit the Stout University Foundation Scholarships page for more information on how to apply for a scholarship. It's easy to apply, one application will automatically qualify you for any foundation scholarship for which you meet the criteria.

  • Wilson Golf Group Scholarship: 2 awards of $1,000 each annual
  • Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin Scholarship: $500 annual
  • John Wesolek Golf Enterprise Management: $500 annual
  • Sten Pierce Memorial Endowed Scholarship: $500 annual

The Scholarship Committee reviews applications and announces award recipients in the Spring.

Don Rossi Scholarship Fund

The Don Rossi Scholarship Fund was created in 1993 by the National Golf Course Owners’ Association, based here in Charleston. This year, we expect two or three awards ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 each to be given. Applications are being sent to colleges and universities nationwide.

The Don Rossi Scholarship, managed by Coastal Community Foundation of SC, is available to rising juniors or seniors who are majoring in Sports Administration, Golf Enterprise Management or Sports Management, and who intend to pursue a career in a golf-related field.

Don A. Rossi made significant contributions to the game of golf and its growth, and inspired others by his example. He was president of the National Golf Foundation from 1970 to 1983, during which time he was instrumental in forming the National Golf Course Owners Association. Mr. Rossi also served as Executive Director of the Golf Course Builders Association of America from 1984 to 1990.

Don Rossi Scholarship applications are accepted by the Coastal Community Foundation of SC through the web-based program until March 15, 2021. Applicants will be notified of the decision of the Awards Committee by early June 2021.

The future success of the industry depends on the availability of golf business professionals who have a keen understanding of financials, marketing, economics and sales. At the same time, the tradition of golf must be maintained, with a strong focus on player development, agronomy and - most importantly - customer service. These are the skills you'll learn in this unique program.

Photo of Jazz Tulde"I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the UW-Stout GEM program. The hands-on learning, small classes, and the great professors I had while I was at UW-Stout helped me learn a great amount of information which helped me get a leg up in the golf industry. Not only did I have a great education, but I also created some lifelong friends while attending UW-Stout. I am definitely proud to call myself a Stout Alum."

-- Jazz Tulda, Junior Golf Coordinator
Iowa Section PGA

Photo of Rachel Hernandez“Not many people can say they were able to major in the sport they love and play. Through UW-Stout’s Golf Enterprise Management program, I was able to learn and take on real life experiences in the golf industry, as well as having a successful collegiate golf career. Through connections and networking in the GEM program, I was able to complete internships in different aspects of the golf industry, such as working at a golf course to tournament administration at a state golf association. Through those experiences, I am currently working in the golf industry at the Minnesota Golf Association where I can say I love my job and continue learning every day, and I still have the opportunity to compete and play the game I love.”

--Rachel Hernandez, Member Services Manager
Minnesota Golf Association

"The GEM Program allows us to learn about the business of golf and grow our skills that will lead us to careers in the hospitality industry. I enjoyed being able to study abroad and learn not only about myself but also about the world around me."

-- Ryan Glodowski
B.S. Golf Enterprise Management 

Use the Request Information form to receive a program summary and learn more about the Online Bachelor of Science degree in Golf Enterprise Management.

Request Information

Value for Your Money

Customized Instruction at UW Stout can be described as programs that are designed with the adult learner in mind. If you're comparing UW-Stout's online degree customized instruction (CI) tuition to our competitors, keep in mind:

  • Customized instruction tuition rate includes the textbook rental fee.
  • There are no additional university-based semester or technology fees.
  • Students in customized instruction programs pay the same rate of tuition regardless if Wisconsin residents, out-of-state or international participants.

There’s more to value than just tuition. UW Stout also provides:

  • Program Director – faculty with discipline expertise.
  • Student Services adviser – one point of contact, providing support to students for each program.
  • Course sequences and matrices – know what courses are offered when so you can plan ahead.
  • Courses and programs may be stackable for use in another program.
  • Courses are flexible and convenient for working professionals.

Other universities will present costs and value differently - make sure you're comparing apples to apples.

National Golf Course Owners AssociationThe National Golf Course Owners Association endorses the UW-Stout GEM program — the only endorsement of its kind ever conferred by the NGCOA. The NGCOA is the only trade association dedicated exclusively to golf course owners and operators. NGCOA members include owners, operators and general managers of daily-fee, semi-private, private and resort courses of all sizes. While diverse in its makeup, the association offers information and inspiration on how to operate golf facilities as efficiently and profitably as possible.

As a GEM student, you'll be eligible to join the National Collegiate Golf Club Association. Membership includes exclusive discounts and custom product offerings from the best brands in golf.

Application and Transfer Information


To apply for the online Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Communication and Emerging Media – Applied Communications concentration, you need to apply to UW-Stout.

Financial Aid

Students who are attending another institution, but are planning to receive their degree from UW-Stout, may be eligible to receive aid from UW‐Stout. In these cases, UW‐Stout is considered the Home Institution and the other campus is considered the Visiting Institution.

Transfer Students

Note: When filling out the application form, be sure to make a note in the student comment section that you intend to apply to the "online program." 

Career Opportunities

The general outlook for the future of golf course businesses in the U.S. remains positive. There are over 16,000 golf courses in the U.S. alone. Minnesota and Wisconsin rank among the leading states in the country for numbers of holes per capita, numbers of players and best courses. As a result, management careers in the golf industry are accessible and the salaries are attractive. Salaries do vary with location, experience and the type of golf facility.

In addition to careers in golf course management, graduates of the GEM program will be prepared for entry-level management within corporations that manage multiple courses, golf retail businesses, tourism businesses and many other golf-related businesses.

GEM Advisory Board

2020 GEM Advisory Board

Jon  Behling Senior Lecturer H&T; UW-Stout
Jim  Buyze Head Golf Professional Mill Run/Wild Ridge Golf Course
Mark  Dahms Small Business Owner Stout Alumni
John Sobota Program Director UW-Stout
Ken  Fournier Jr. Operations Director Event Solutions LLC
Garrett  Gill Golf Course Architect Gill Design, Inc.
Adam Chandler PGA Head Pro TPC Twin Cities
Scott  Merchant Founder/Sales Director GolfPipeline
Janell  Reitz Academic Department Associate School of Hospitality Leadership; UW-Stout
Patrick  Renner President The Wilson Group 
Howie  Samb Professor UW-Stout
Kristine  Schoonover Professor UW-Stout
Jeff  Schwister Executive Director Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin
Brad Powers PGA Operations Ryder Cup 2020 Ryder Cup 2020
Steve  Willock General Manager Oak March Golf, Oakdale MN 
Mandy  Wolbert Student Services Specialist UW-Stout

Golf Enterprise Management

All Golf Enterprise Management News

Golf management alum, students adding Ryder Cup to their resumes

When the biennial Ryder Cup begins this week in Wisconsin, UW-Stout and its golf management program will be well represented.

With experience and golf management degree, age no barrier for 23-year-old new course owner

If Indiana “Indy” Thompson was like most new college graduates, he’d be dipping his toes into the “real world” a little at a time.

Alum passes qualifying test to earn spot in prestigious PGA Championship

A 34-year-old UW-Stout alumni and former Blue Devil golfer realized a lifelong dream recently.