By Nia Gooden
Being a Quaker Ridge Golf Club Fellow was a deeply rewarding and truly educational experience.
I learned so much about the way a golf club and golf shop operate. The members – who are kind, respectful, and welcoming – are a big reason it was such a pleasant and motivating experience.
Working in outside operations and in the golf shop taught me how to adjust to unique situations, a skill that can be applied in many other workplaces.
For example, one day during an 8am-1pm outside-operations shift, I was tasked with helping the caddies welcome and take the bags of members participating in the Annual Golf Classic hosted by the Center for Architecture. I learned on the spot how to do the job: greet the players, get their names, tell them what hole they were starting on, let them know where to park, etc. I was often working with someone else, so I could communicate with the member while my partner took their bag.
Even simple circumstances like rain or slow times at the club provided opportunities to learn and apply new skills. Around 3-4 pm, when the club tends to have less traffic, I still found plenty of opportunities to improve the club by cleaning up, reorganizing bays, sweeping the bag room, cleaning and putting away golf clubs, replacing water/ice, and shagging balls in the short-game practice area.
Interacting with the members was one of the most valuable parts of my experience at Quaker Ridge. During every interaction, I learned how important it is to be as amiable and helpful as possible. Even if I didn’t know how to get a member what they needed, I was able to direct them to someone who could help.
I have also been inspired by the people I’ve been lucky enough to work with. It’s encouraging to see how dedicated and enthusiastic the Quaker Ridge staff is about assisting the members, no matter how they might be feeling that day. Witnessing the family-like environment within the golf shop showed me how smoothly a group can adapt to challenges through communication and commitment.
I also benefited from working in an environment where punctuality and seriousness are expected. I had no choice but to improve my time-management skills, and I’m very grateful for that opportunity.
Whether working inside the golf shop or outside around the course, I was constantly learning and challenged this summer!
Nia is a rising sophomore at New Rochelle High School and interned with Head Golf Professional Mario Guerra.