A Day on the Maintenance Crew at Quaker Ridge

By Alexander Ciriaco

Alexander Ciriaco

I applied to this program because I wanted to improve my golf and tennis skills while feeding my desire to study bioengineering.

This is my first job, and it is the best job! I work with the golf course maintenance team, and it is my responsibility to help keep the course looking its best. What better way to learn the game of golf than by learning how to care for and appreciate the land?

I was intrigued by the opportunity to become a fellow for several reasons. First, we get expert golf and tennis instruction from some of the best teaching professionals in the business. Second, we have the chance to meet and speak with club members who are industry leaders, game-changers, and veterans in a wide variety of professions. Most importantly, they want to help us succeed, reach our goals, and realize our dreams.

The greatest opportunity is that we have access to good mentors like my supervisor, Golf Course Superintendent Tom Ashfield, who have high expectations. “If your standards are high, the people that you work for will never be disappointed,” he said. He is always ready to provide the tools for my success.

Quaker Ridge fellows during a golf lesson
Alexander Ciriaco, left, during a golf lesson with Mario Guerra, head golf professional at Quaker Ridge.

A Work Day in the Life of a Quaker Ridge Fellow:

  • An average day for me is heading to the maintenance building at 9:00 AM and dropping off my bag in the locker room. After that I head to the garage and get a cart; I fill the back with dirt and seed and head out to the course to fill divots. I usually go with other interns if they’re free.
  • I’ve learned a lot about plants and turf management while working here. One example is when one of the supervisors showed us how to prevent the grass from suffocating or getting infected with disease or fungus.
  • During my time working on the golf course, I have learned the basics of driving both gas and electric carts while simultaneously understanding how automatic and manual transmissions work.
  • My first couple of days, I learned to fill divots and was able to get a feel for the course. I originally filled divots with other interns, but now I’m able to do them myself.
  • When I’m not filling divots or sweeping, I’m cleaning bunkers.
  • Plants were not the only thing we learned about. The maintenance team’s mechanic, Angel, showed us the difference between electric, gas and diesel vehicles. He also showed us how he repairs all of the machines that are used to keep the golf course looking good.
  • During lunch I hang out with the other interns and have fun!