Addressing the widespread challenges that golf course operators are facing to recruit enough competent staff, both the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) and National Golf Course Owners Association Canada (NGCOA Canada) have been developing strategies to support the industry.
One innovative solution is to leverage the opposite summer seasons of Australia and Canada through an exchange program that imports golf course personnel between both countries.
EnvoyGolf in Australia and Fresh Golf Solutions in Canada are recruitment firms who specialize in golf. Together, with the endorsement and promotional support of the CGSA and NGCOA Canada, a new reciprocal working visa program for golf is being launched in Canada.
All logistics, such as screening candidates, working visas, insurance, and travel arrangements will be professionally managed by EnvoyGolf, with support from Fresh Golf Solutions. The primary focus will be upon seasonal Grounds Staff. EnvoyGolf has had previous success implementing this same program between Australia and Scandinavian countries.
“The benefits to Canadian golf courses are twofold,” states Jeff Calderwood, CEO of both Associations. “As a retention strategy, seasonal employees in Canada can now be offered year-round opportunities. And the additional hiring from Australia will increase our available labour pool with candidates who already have qualified golf course experience.”
Fresh Golf’s role will be to help preselect Canadian candidates aged 35 & under who are looking to grow their skill sets, stay in the golf industry year-round and who would love to travel to a warm summer climate. In the fall of 2022, the program will be a pilot project starting with Canadian candidates interested in a six-month fall-winter term in Australia, and then Australian candidates to Canada in the Spring of 2023.
Fresh Golf founder Scott Kolb states, “Typically, only a few grounds staff at each club are year-round employees and someone talented will only accept being laid off for so many years before they look at the many options of employment. This program is an excellent opportunity for an up-and-coming staff member to continue to grow their passion for the game of golf while getting to travel to a warm climate.”
David Burton of EnvoyGolf is a former Toronto resident. Prior to his appointment of Principal Advisor of EnvoyGolf, David was the General Manager from 1996-2020 of the New South Wales Golf Club, one of the most prestigious Golf Clubs in Australia. David also states, “Not only will your Australian experience help your career and greenkeeping knowledge, you will get to enjoy the Aussie lifestyle and meet friends that you will have for your lifetime.”
Additional details for Canadian golf courses looking to recruit Australian candidates for the 2023 golf season will be provided in the near future.
To find out more of the EnvoyGolf program:
Website from Fresh Golf specific to the Envoy Program click here
About EnvoyGolf – Founded by Mark Matehaere, an International Search Recruitment specialist since 1993. EnvoyGolf connect skills with the needs in the golf industry. This involves engaging relevant talent pools at both staffing and executive levels in offshore markets to work with client golf clubs in Australia and New Zealand and now building into other markets. With our foundation in seasonal course staff our capabilities now include executive appointments across all departments and hospitality staff, in both seasonal/temporary and permanent appointments.
About Fresh Golf Solutions – Founded in 2011 originally as a merchandising division of golf pro shops, Fresh Golf has expanded in early 2022 year with a focus on the recruitment for the Golf Industry. Scott Kolb is Fresh Golf’s Founder and Recruiter. The Fresh Golf website also serves as the only inclusive resource hub for the golf industry with Job Postings, Educational opportunities of the Golf Industry Associations and industry specific news. Fresh Golf is a division of VB Golf.
About Canadian Golf Superintendents Association - The Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) represents over 1,000 individuals involved in the profession of golf course management in Canada. Its mission commits the Association to excellence in golf course management and environmental responsibility through the continuing professional development of its members. CGSA provides a variety of member services and annually hosts the largest golf course management trade show in Canada.