So you wanna know the ins and outs huh? Well you came to the right guy. For the last 2 years I have worked at a small country club located in the San Bernardino Valley in southern California. As you can imagine in suburbia, all the retired gentlemen in the area love golf, and especially an escape from their wives! So like most people I naturally gravitated towards the idea of rich men with money to toss around and me raking it up. (Or so I thought) Enough about me though, lets get down to the dirty details. I cant reveal all the magic so I’m only gonnna shoot 5 secrets your way. Here goes:
- Tournaments = Tips
Now I know this doesn’t sound like a big secret, but hear me out. When we have tournaments, the public can enter so that means more golfers. More golfers means more clubs to clean, and more carts to maintain. All this adds up to more money. But wait! Here’s the best part. Tournaments also give out free alcohol on the course, and when those old men are finished and there’s two cold ones in the cooler, they’re ours! That’s right. We get to split them up, with all the cash, and take them home with us. Pretty sweet, huh?
- Who picks up all those golf balls?
Ever been to a driving range and wondered who picks up all the balls that have been hit? That, good sir, is myself! We have a special-and by special I mean old- cart with a spin cage attached to it and a protective cage for the driver. The wheels on the ground spin and grab the ball, releasing them into a wire basket attached to itself. Pretty simple? Wrong! from time to time the picker gets filled and we have to empty it while standing out in the open on the driving range! (And remember, people aim for the guy in the cart) Not only that, but the cart doesn’t grab ALL the balls. We have to manually get out with a hand-shagger, and pick up the balls on an open golf cart. Think about how many people wanna hit THAT?
- How do they keep the grass so green?
As an employee of the clubhouse, I did not maintain the course as that was the responsibility of the maintenance staff. However, at one point during the summer our well, which is the main source of water for the course, was damaged for a period of slightly over a month. The grass, as you can imagine, quickly began to die and less members wanted to play. This is when I became curious and asked one of my friends who worked for maintenance. He told me that the well has a large pump which forces water through a system of pipelines throughout the course. These pipelines, of course, are attached to the sprinkler system which waters the grass. The pump however, was broken and not forcing water into the system. The pump was eventually fixed, but cost nearly $30,000! Yikes!
- Do you ever get grumpy, old men?
Yes, and in no way is it fun. Not only are these men your customers, but they are members. You will see them almost every day! For example, there was one elderly gentleman by the name of Pete Collins. Now Pete, as he angrily told me to call him upon first calling him “Mr. Collins”, was a long time member and known to many as a bit of a trouble maker. Every morning at 7:00 am, Pete wanted his cart at the front door with his bag, and whoever his partner’s bag was on it. There had to be two wet towels, and one dry. The back couldn’t have the standard handicapped flag in it, no sir. The thin red one! (As he once told me the larger one “F’s” up his hearing aid) So yes. They’re pretty grumpy sometimes. However, I must say that after getting on Pete’s good side, he did show me his bag filled with several All-Star MLB Rings! That was pretty cool!
- Are you good at golf, now that you work at a Country Club?
No. I am TERRIBLE at golf. I just assume that like my father before me, I always will be. However, while working there I did discover that most country clubs have an employee day where the staff can enjoy the facilities, free of charge. So while I did not use the course, I did enjoy the clubhouse, Olympic sized swimming pool, and skeet shooting range. I think i’ll trade being good at golf for a day of all those fun things. However, for those of you who do like golf many of my coworkers played golf there quite often and became avid golfers.
So that’s that! The 5 things you never knew about working at a country club. Aren’t you glad I told ya? That’s ok! Like I say in my motto! “I keep the clubs clean, the grass green, and the old men mean”