Looking Back on Three Summers at Quaker Ridge

By Alexander Ciriaco

Alexander Ciriaco senior portrait

I, Alexander Ciriaco, am honored to have been able to share with you my exciting journey during my three years here in Quaker Ridge Golf Club’s Fellowship Program. Throughout the Program, I learned much about golf, tennis, the world of business, and most noticeably, myself. Thank you to all the Members and the Board for giving me the privilege of working at the prestigious Quaker Ridge Country Club, an experience that has left an indelible mark on my life.

During my first two years in the Momentum Program, I primarily worked in course maintenance, learning the ins and outs of keeping the grass green and the water flowing during the hot summers. It was a challenging yet rewarding role, especially after months of being stuck indoors due to the COVID pandemic. I felt a sense of pride in contributing to the overall beauty and functionality of the golf course and seeing the efforts of my work day to day.

However, this year marked a turning point as I also began caddying. I decided to take a step outside of my comfort zone and get a hands-on perspective in the world of golf. Becoming a certified caddie opened doors to a brand new set of responsibilities and skills. I had the great opportunity to shadow experienced caddies like Cory, who worked at the course for nine years. I am learning how to effectively use a Rangefinder and assist golfers with their shots, adding a new layer of tact to my work. The interpersonal skills I have learned will undoubtedly prove invaluable, not just on the golf course but also in life. Cory taught me to “always make sure to stay ahead of the group,” both on and off the course. Being surrounded by Club Members who share similar passions has been very informative. Their unique perspectives have sparked deep discussions about what to look for in your college experience.

golf balls pulled out of creek at Quaker Ridge

Tom, my grounds mentor who has guided me throughout the last three years, was also so helpful in teaching me about the rules and tools of golf. I am forever indebted to Tom. He taught me the distinct purposes of each golf club, making me appreciate the precision and finesse required to master the sport. I also revisited the grounds crew and reconnected with my co-workers from previous years. Together we fished golf balls out of the creek, filled divots, and worked extra hours.

I am thrilled to share that I will be attending Binghamton University next January. I am passionate about economics and finance and plan on choosing a major that aligns with those interests. But before that, during the fall, I plan to work hard, utilizing the skills I have honed as a caddie to earn some extra cash and prepare for the next exciting chapter that awaits.

As my last year in the Quaker Ridge Program draws to a close, I cannot help but feel a profound sense of gratitude for the experiences it has given me. From groundskeeping to caddying, I have learned the value of adaptability, dedication, and seizing opportunities. These lessons will undoubtedly shape my path as I step into the next stage in my life.

Thank you to all the Quaker Ridge Golf Club Members and to Tom and Cory for joining me on this journey. To my fellow students in the Quaker Ridge Program, and all the other Quaker Ridge staff who made this all possible, I wish you the best in your pursuits and in your lives, both on and off the golf course!