Wycombe Heights Golf Centre and Bucks New University have teamed up to give golf managers of the future their first taste of life inside a busy golf facility.
BA (Hons) Sports Management and Golf Studies students at the University in High Wycombe, who dream of one day running their own golf club, are being given the opportunity to join the workforce at Wycombe Heights - part of BGL Golf, the UK's leading golf course owner and operator - for a six-month period of paid work experience.
The first three students to take up posts at the public pay-and-play venue, Steve Dutton, Ben Warren and Tom Bennett, are three months into their work experience and picking up valuable experience on all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the facility, working closely with heads of department and under the watchful eye of General Manager Russell Stebbings.
"Students who join us will work across every department of the facility," said Russell. "That includes golf operations, retail, food & beverage, admin, sales and marketing and greenkeeping. This experience will give them a sound knowledge of every aspect of running a modern day golf centre.
"It is great to have the students around as they are all two or three years into their Sports Management and Golf Studies course so already have a sound understanding of theory and practice and have been a great help with ideas of how we can enhance our business in different areas."
Steve, Ben and Tom have their work cut out at the busy facility, which is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty and boasts an 18-hole Main Course - cut into the chalk hills high above Loudwater and designed by former Ryder Cup captain and golf legend John Jacobs.
There is also an 18-hole Par-3 Short Course - ideal for golfers looking to sharpen up their short game skills and the perfect environment for families and youngsters to take their first steps in the game - extensive practice facilities including a 24-bay covered, floodlit and heated driving range, large putting green and short game practice area.
Away from the course Wycombe Heights also hosts many weddings and functions throughout the year in the clubhouse.
Russell added: "There is a lot that goes into running a golf facility, so the students are kept extremely busy, but I have no doubt that they will benefit tremendously from this experience and will go on to gain their qualifications and one day become club managers themselves."
Andrew Rankin, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader at Bucks New University, said: "As a university we actively seek to establish strong links with professionally managed businesses to enable our students to gain hands-on work experience.
"The partnership with Wycombe Heights enhances professional development opportunities in an innovative and practical way and will give our students the opportunity to work closely with Russell and his team to gain a clearer understanding of the sport, leisure and golf business. It will also increase their employability opportunities when they complete their degree course and graduate."
For further information on Wycombe Heights Golf Centre visit www.wycombeheightsgc.co.uk. For information about Bucks New University or the BA (Hons) Sports Management and Golf Studies degree course, please visit www.bucks.ac.uk.