What I Learned at the Golf Course

6 08 2011

I worked at Paradise Pointe Golf Course in Smithville last year.  It was my first job.  I worked there the first part of this summer too, at least until I had to quit because I had too many other things I was doing.

It isn’t exactly the best job in the world.  The weekday work day starts at 6 a.m., quitting time is 3:30 with half an hour of lunch break.  It is entirely outside, which means you are subject to the whims of both the weather and the golfers.  If you work a weekend, start time is 5:30.  Yes, a.m.  After hours and hours of working at this place, I thought that I would share with you some lessons I learned about the golfing world as a non-golfer:

1.  Golfers hate bunkers, but workers hate them even more.

Golfers hit the ball into the bunker and think, ‘crap, I have to hit it out of this sandy hole.’  Well, let me tell you what goes into the work of a nice bunker.  First of all, bunkers need to be raked, preferably every day.  We have sand raking machines so we don’t have to do them all by hand.  They look like this:

Example of what we use. A lot.

One course (18 holes) takes between 4 and 5 hours to do by yourself, depending on the circumstances.  There are two full courses and a 4 hole training course at Paradise Pointe.  Preferably, each should be done every day, but that doesn’t happen because there are often other more pressing needs.  Meanwhile, the faces of the bunkers are usually too steep to mow.  So, we have to trim them with weedeaters.  The weedeaters we use look like this:

This isn’t entirely true.  But the weedeaters often have issues with them, and when was the last time you went out in 95 degree weather, weedeating for 6 straight hours?  The courses have to be done every week or two, and there are a hundred other things to weedeat as well.  But bunkers take up a tremendous amount of time and energy.

2.  Golfers are always angry.

Golfing is, to me, a leisure sport.  Most people don’t do it professionally.  They just go out and play a game for fun.  Unfortunately, fun is not had very often at the golf course.  Golfers are angry people.  No matter their skill level, lifestyle, or color of flashy polo shirt they are wearing, they are always disappointed.  The better a player is, the more angry he is at his game.  It is fascinating how so many people go out and play for fun and ‘leisure’ when their blood pressure levels would be more reasonable watching SportsCenter or Mythbusters or something.

Leisure? WHAT LEISURE!?

3.  Golfers have an inability to read the English language.

At each hole, there is a stone that states what hole you are on, a ball cleaner, and both a recycling bin and a trash bin.  The bins are the same, but the recycling bin is clearly different in purpose, with conspicuous white writing that says ‘Recycling–Cans and Plastic.’  This is, despite what you may think, a simple instruction.  If you have a can, put it in the recycling bin.  If you have a nasty, half eaten sandwhich covered in beer and ketchup, then it goes in the trash bin.  Golfers screw this up so often that my only conclusion is that they can’t read.  Why else would you go extra work to putting your trash in the bin with a lid that isn’t even shaped for trash?  Why?  Also, golfers routinely drive around wherever they want, despite signs that say ‘Carts On Path Here’.

4.  Golfers are bad.

Or at least the ones in Smithville are.  It isn’t like tv.  Most golfers don’t actually finish putting.  They just move on.  The one time I got hit with a golf ball, I was raking a bunker (with the above machine) near the green of a hole.  I got hit in the thigh–yes, it hurt–from a guy who hit it from an entirely different tee.  He shanked the ball 45 degrees to the right, up a hill, and hit me.

5.  One can find a lot of golf balls if you look for them.

6.  You receive awesome tanlines.

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