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You'll need super interpersonal skills, a great work ethic and a passion for golf to get a job as a golf sales representative. The golf equipment industry is very competitive, and the manufacturers are always looking for revenue-focused sales reps who can help improve the bottom line. Despite that, the competition for openings can be fierce, and often the positions go to the most tenacious and eager candidates. A good education and top-notch networking skills can provide an edge.
Get a four-year college degree. It is possible to become a golf sales rep without graduating from college, but the competition for jobs is so keen that a degree is almost a necessity for the best positions. Any bachelor's degree will suffice, but it can be helpful to major in marketing, business administration, or attend a college offering a degree in professional golf management.
Apply for internship or part-time positions in golf, if possible, while you complete your education. Network extensively through social media and face-to-face as you get to know as many people in golf as possible.
Decide if you want to become an independent sales rep working for several companies or if you would rather represent only one manufacturer. The largest and most successful golf companies hire sales reps who sell only their products. Independent sales reps are usually contract or commission-only sales people and may represent several small manufacturers.
Attend the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. The annual show takes place in January and is the largest gathering of golf industry professionals in the world, with virtually all the manufacturers represented. Golf is very much a people business, and face-to-face contact is important for job seekers. Some sales representatives are hired on the spot at the show. If possible, attend the show for one or two years before you are ready to take a job. The early networking could give you an edge.
Keep working your contacts if nothing pans outs immediately at the PGA show or if the timing of the show is not right for you. Use the Internet to find the web addresses of all the golf manufacturers and distributors. Make contact with all of them by sending your resume to the proper person. Also apply for any open positions.
Carefully consider all offers, even if it means starting out as a non-selling customer service representative. Getting a foot in the door is the most important thing, and other sales reps started out in customer service.
Robert Lee has been an entrepreneur and writer with a background in starting small businesses since 1974. He has written for various websites and for several daily and community newspapers on a wide variety of topics, including business, the Internet economy and more. He studied English in college and earned a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Governor's State University.