How many hours do golf-course superintendents work? We asked them

Superintendents are said to be perfectionists, and no wonder. Their work is like the mail: It never stops. 

The near round-the-clock requirements of the job, combined with uncooperative weather and lofty golfer expectations, presents greenskeepers with another challenge: finding the time and willpower to relax.

As in many sectors, striking a healthy life-work balance is a hot topic these days in the turf-care trade.

To achieve that equilibrium, it helps to know how many hours superintendents put in.

So, what are their schedules really like? The short answer is, it varies. But a recent industry report provides an inkling. According to the 2023 Compensation and Benefits Report by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), superintendents nationwide work an average of 60 hours a week in summer; 45 hours a week in winter; 55 hours a week in spring; and 53 hours in the fall. 

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Even as things change across the seasons, they also shift from state to state. Take Rhode Island, for instance. In the country’s smallest state, supers reported a sizable workload in the summer: they put in an average of 70 hours a week. In Florida, that number is 57.

The type of course can make a difference. Ditto the climate. In New York, the weekly hours range from 41 in winter to 64 in the summer, which is fairly typical of a northern state. In Hawaii, the figures hold fairly steady: 52 in winter; 54 in spring; 56 in summer; 56 in fall.

All of that data is just part of the picture. The full GCSAA report is not available to the public. But at this year’s GCSAA Conference and Trade Show, in Orlando, asked superintendents about finding a healthy balance between labor and leisure, and to share details about the hours they log. You can check out that video here. 

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