Industry boom opening career doors at Carr Golf & beyond

John Craven
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Seapoint Golf Links

In May this year, the R&A, in consultation with Golf Ireland, released a report stamping figures on something we already knew – golf is booming in Ireland.

According to the study, playing numbers increased by 219,000 to 540,000 in 2020. Of those, 18% were said to be returning to the game, or taking it up for the first time because of the pandemic, while the median participation age was also reducing with 33% of adult players under the age of 25.

Golf Ireland reported a 10% increase in memberships across the board for the year and through 2021, this insatiable appetite for golf has continued to rumble, creating jobs across an industry very much on the up. Golf has never been more accessible, and now there are a number of career opportunities within touching distance, too.

One company which has divisions spanning most of the golf industry is Carr Golf and they, like the rest of the industry, have been enjoying unparalleled growth over the past 18 months across all their business with demand for their services creating a number of attractive roles within the company.

Founded by the late, great Joe Carr, this Irish golfing institution has come out the other side of a testing period for the wider industry primed for further development, and they’re seeking talent across every facet of their business to help meet an ambitious plan for the future.

“We’re in a really good place,” says Alex Saul, Carr Golf’s Chief Revenue Officer.

“The challenge now for us, and the industry, is how we harness this growth into something that’s more long-term, sustainable and repeatable so that these new experimenters within the game are enjoying the experience to the extent that they want to stay.

“That’s created new roles and new opportunities in our business to ensure we have the expertise to capitalise on that.”

Carr Golf is currently advertising 17 employment opportunities across a number of its venues to fulfil the demand of an already packed calendar for 2022. In the face of a talent shortage across the hospitality sector, the company is standing out with enticing packages that include major opportunities for career development, investment in training & education for staff, healthcare, and attractive renumeration.

Where the position allows, Carr Golf is also offering a hybrid working week to promote all-important work-life balance in an attractive proposition for would-be employees.

“In terms of Head Office roles, we’re now moving to a three day working week in the office,” Saul explains.

“So Tuesday to Thursday is on site – Monday and Friday are optional, meaning staff members can choose to come into the office and use the facilities and resources here or they can choose to work from home. We think that’s a really attractive differentiator, and a necessary one in 2021.”

It’s a testament to Carr Golf’s reputation that the company has been entrusted with service agreements for  four new clubs already this year with two more expected to be added by year-end, and a further two by Q2 in 2022.

“The more clubs decide to adopt our model and approach, the more opportunities it creates and that’s what makes it exciting,” says Ed Pettit, Managing Director of Carr Golf Services.

“We have four contract renewals up this year and when we sit down with the golf club to review what was achieved in the last five years, and how we want to move forward over the next five, that will often involve adding staff.

“If we want to take it from an average KPI score of 75 into the 80s, you’ve got to add labour because this is a labour intensive business. We’re in the process of review with a club that has already decided they’re going to add another 2,000 hours in order to take them to the next level. That’s another body, another job, another opportunity for somebody.”

Carr Golf’s latest high-profile acquisition is the stunning Seapoint Golf links in Co. Louth, with an exciting opening for a new General Manager among the diverse list of nationwide roles waiting to be filled.

“We are looking for a talented General Manager to come in and work with us and our partners,” says Saul.

“There’s a significant budget and plan behind it to really take Seapoint to the next level and I think that’s an opportunity for someone to really own and have an impact on a project over the next few years.”

The rate of growth the company is experiencing further endorses the Carr Golf product. The agronomy experts achieve a level of consistency with regards to course conditioning that every club craves and with a number of Greenkeeping positions being advertised, there’s immense scope for career progression both within the organisation and outside it.

“Many of our Head Greenkeepers now joined us in an entry level position four or five years ago and they progressed into senior roles,” says Pettit.

“There are huge opportunities to progress through the organisation and others have moved on, as they do in every walk of life, to great roles by virtue of the education, experience and development they received at Carr Golf standing them in good stead.

Saul adds: “We have former Carr Golf staff who are now in senior roles at Carton House, Old Head and Portmarnock Golf Club. So, it’s not just the development you get within the business but also the platform it provides to progress your career in the best clubs. ”

The size and scope of Carr Golf’s operation means opportunity knocks for those wanting to get involved in the golf industry, or take a forward step in their careers. Demand for Carr’s services across travel, maintenance and management has never been greater with over 200 inbound tourist groups already locked in for 2022, a year that will see over one million rounds played on Carr managed courses.

With international travel back on the agenda, and an Open Championship and Ryder Cup on the horizon in the coming years, it’s an exciting time not just for Carr Golf, but those talented enough to join them on the journey.

“It is an exciting time,” Saul concludes. “We have a lot of roles available, and we envisage more roles coming on stream in Q2 of next year. Our HR Manager, Anne Lee, is passionate about creating a system that fosters and develops talent and that is at the forefront of our strategic plans.

“We really we want to build a culture where we’re retaining talent as we move forward into the shop window of Royal Portrush in 2025 and Adare Manor in 2027. The outlook is extremely bright.”

To discover more about a career at Carr Golf, Click HERE

Vacancies:

Golf Operations

  • General Manager – Seapoint
  • Assistant Director of Golf – Castleknock
  • Golf Operations Assistant – Castleknock

Hospitality

  • F&B Assistant (FT) – Castleknock
  • Commis Chef (PT) – Castleknock

Maintenance

  • Assistant Head Greenkeeper – Corrstown
  • Greenkeeper – Donabate
  • Greenkeeper – Corballis
  • Greenkeeper – Corrstown
  • Greenkeeper – Seapoint
  • Greenkeeper – Limerick
  • Maintenance Operative – Multicourse
  • Qualified Mechanic – Multicourse

Travel

  • Operations Assistant
  • Sales Executive

Central Services

  • Digital Marketing Executive
  • HR Executive

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