Recently, I wrote an article that was a somewhat scathing account of my season working in a pro shop (that article is here). While it seemed like I was complaining or talking very negatively about working in the golf industry I wasn’t.
The reality is that while there might be a few negatives about working the counter in a pro shop and yes you do see and hear a lot of questionable things (or complaints) there is a lot that I love about it. Before I get into that, however, I just want to point out that at the root of my issues with working at a golf course in a pro shop is that my issues are mostly internal. Namely, my jealousy. I actually get jealous that golfers get out the way that they do but especially our starters and marshalls. Believe it or not, there are guys there that have north of 50-100 rounds of golf played. It must be nice!!
So my love of working in the industry. There aren’t too many industry’s that I can think of where you can enjoy everything from seeing the sun rising, the smell in the air, seeing the wildlife, and the daily banter with individuals who are showing up to “your office” to take part in something that they enjoy. I was once told by a member at a course where I was the Director of Golf that “it’s not about the 5% that are assholes… that it’s about the 95% that aren’t”. He was right in that summary. Yes, you always remember the bad ones but that is human psychology too.
As mentioned, in that editorial I have some great members and guests that show up to my work. For the most part, they are always willing to have a laugh. Truth be told I work in a shop where Mike is a very common name. Out of three guys that work there (my GM notwithstanding), I’m the only one not named Mike. So to say that I’ve often been called Mike on more than one occasion isn’t saying much at all. As a matter of fact, while I can remember the names of 300 members, another 150 league player names and some green fee players I find it humorous that I get called Mike. I’m one person and yes I do wear a name tag that says “Alex”. But that’s okay, they’re excited to be there and maybe a tad distracted. So one day one of my members (Andy) heard this happen no less than 5 times in a short period of time as we were talking. As he walked out he says “Have a great day George” I laughed so hard. Ever since then, it’s been a running joke where we call each other the wrong name. My favourite so far is him calling me “Octavius”. Like I said, banter I love it and welcome it with open arms.
As much as I love the banter what I really look forward to (believe it or not) is Ladies League. After the rush of the weekend, our Ladies League takes place on Monday during the day and evening. It’s a terrific bunch of ladies that play and to be totally honest I look forward to them coming to the course. It’s not just about Blanche who supplies us in the Pro Shop with her jam but it’s the overall vibe of the group. Especially the ladies in the afternoon. They are such a fun group that while they banter they just love being at the course to play some golf. You talk about “growing the game” this is a large portion that the industry needs to realize. Women’s golf is a vast resource that needs to be tapped more across the entire golf industry. But there they are. They come to the course, play nine holes, and then drink wine and eat until the sun sets to mark the end of another day. For the most part, it truly is a social game and an evening out away from the office. I appreciate that!!
I guess the last part that I love about working in the golf industry is the education part of it. From a teaching standpoint it’s always great to see the look in a student’s eyes when “they get it”, they make a swing and the ball comes off like it never had for them prior. It’s the part of the education when you break through to a new golfer when you explain why you park the golf cart parallel to the pin. Education, when you get a message through to golfers that there is a business side and why things have to be a certain way and there’s more involved than cutting grass and for them to just simply show up without a tee time… And they get “it”. Lastly, there’s the reason why I write in the first place and have this blog. Whether it’s sharing my opinion through editorials or writing reviews. I love educating people on what’s out there and that there’s another opinion that may not be as popular or the same as their own.
This is why I love and appreciate golf.
Until The Next Tee!!