When we started our fellowship in the golf shop at Quaker Ridge, we thought our main job would be selling golf apparel and providing members all of their golf necessities. But as the weeks have rolled by, we have learned there is much more to it than that.
“Our job is to provide a great start to every member’s day and provide them with the best golf experience Quaker Ridge has to offer,” said Mario Guerra, the club’s head golf professional.
A day in the golf shop consists of much more than working the cash register.
One of the first things that we learned about was the importance of proper golf attire – a collared polo shirt (tucked in!), long shorts, socks, and golf shoes. The clothing is part of the decorum of the game, and definitely more formal when compared to other sports. Dressing correctly for the game is one way that golfers show respect for the history and traditions of the game.
On a typical morning, we welcome members from 8 to 9 and prepare their equipment for their rounds, which typically take about four hours. Greeting the members has helped us build a network and work on our communication skills in a professional environment. At the golf course, we feel like part of a family in which we respect one another but also have the freedom to speak up.
One member put it this way: “We must have respect for ourselves and make sure to speak out if we feel uncomfortable and ask questions if we need help.”
From 9 to 11, we work on keeping things neat and other simple tasks, including picking up range balls, cleaning and refueling carts, and making sales in the pro shop.
“The main reason I love it here is because of all of the people I can reach and make happy from just saying hello and providing a safe environment for the golfers,” Guerra said. “Taking care of details, from saying hello to picking up balls, can make such a difference in a member’s experience. Just remember to always shoot a smile their way while doing it.”
We have lunch from 11 to noon and then shadow the golf pros and learn the game. Sometimes we go to the putting green for lessons, and other times we go to the driving range to work on our swings. This is the best part of the day not only because we are learning golf, but also because of the other lessons we’re learning like patience and the importance of quiet.
For the rest of the day, we also continue to greet the members and complete more simple tasks.
One of our favorite experiences so far has been learning how to drive a golf cart and the appropriate places to drive them on the course.
All in all, our experience at Quaker Ridge has been great.