While I love telling about my travel adventures and interesting experiences, I feel like I often neglect to highlight a certain large chunk of my life. AKA my job. I am working 40+ hours a week at the Dunes Golf Course at Costa Navarino. The job, or “internship” as we’ve come to call it, has morphed through various stages.
Initially, I was assigned to the Staging Area. Basically, this is where all the carts and bags are taken care of. There are five great guys who work there (six, if you include Thomas) and they all took me under their wing from the moment I arrived. I learned how to hose down golf carts, make bag tags, assemble the clubs in the morning, check reservations, and roll towels. Unfortunately, I turned out to be rather useless. The boys do such a great job taking care of things, that it left me with very little to do. Often I just “manned the station” while they ran around doing tasks. I ended up rolling a LOT of towels.
One day, our head pro, Nicky, asked if I could help him prepare a golf clinic for 100 people. I grabbed a notebook and pen and asked as many questions about the assignment as I could think of. The clinic went quite smoothly– and I became Nicky’s new-found apprentice. I certainly wanted the experience that he could provide in the teaching realm, so it was a win-win situation. I started helping with the Academy kids, monitoring things at the larger golf lesson times, learning the ropes around the Simulator room, etc.
Once the Operations Manager, Cesar, recognized that I was capable of handling groups and had the ability to really think through a project, he sent me half a dozen emails filled with jobs for me to take over. I will be running the weekly Stableford tournament. I’m in charge of golf club inventories and creating templates and checklists for various projects.
My own little “fun project” is on the teaching end of things. Dozens (literally) of staff members have expressed their interest to me concerning the golf facilities. I would really love to get the staff more involved at the golf course… really make a golf environment around here since it is a “golf resort”. So. My plan right now is to provide two golf clinics per week specifically for the Associates of Costa Navarino. I’ll teach them the sport at the most basic level: the rules, the etiquette, grip and posture, the fundamentals of a golf swing, chipping, putting, how to take care of the course and be respectful of other guests, and so on. I am SO excited. I made advertisements for my clinics (complete with our company logos), a long-term plan, and proposed it to my superiors. They loved the idea, so they passed it on to their superiors. And now my little project is stuck in no-man’s-land waiting for someone with total authority to give the “ok”. I’m trying to be patient, but I really want to get this off the ground!
Here’s a little sample of my day-to-day at the golf course. This was my last twelve hours:
7:00 Wake up
7:15 Talk to my parents on Skype (the internet only works in the wee hours of the morning, I’ve discovered)
8:00 Go outside to wait for the bus that is supposed to come at 8…
8:17 Catch sight of the bus and jump into the street to flag it down
8:30 Arrive at Costa Navarino and change into my work clothes in the locker area
8:45 Start staking the golf course for the tournament this week
9:45 Finish with the front nine and hurry back to the staging area to meet the Academy Kids
10:00 Begin with my kiddos at the chipping area
10:55 Special surprise for them today… Their clubs finally came! We give each child a golf bag with a set of clubs, and a tag engraved with their name.
11:00 Take the kids to the 10th tee to play a few holes
11:35 Yell “Ela ela!” to get the boys to hurry up and get to the next hole. We still only manage to play two holes in an hour.
12:00 Send the kids on their way. Head down to the chipping area to clean up the mess
12:30 Grab a quick lunch in the Staff Canteen
1:00 Back on the course with my hazard stakes. It is extremely hot and the ground is impossibly hard. Thank goodness for my sledgehammer!
2:45 Finally finish and collapse in the nice, cool Staging Area. Catch up with the guys for news about the tournament and players
3:15 Head upstairs to see what else needs to be done. Nicky asks me to make some signs for down at the Academy. Petros asks me to finish editing the “Local Rules” sheet I had crafted the day before for the tournament. My friend, Themis, who is in town for a couple days, offers to help and gives me some good pointers (he happens to be one of the pros at Glyfada golf course in Athens!)
4:00 Check with all the bosses to make sure there’s nothing else I can be helpful with. It seems the tournament is under control, so I head down to the driving range
4:15 Michael (our sports marketing guy) comes down to hit balls as well. Themis is giving Thomas a driving lesson (Thomas is playing in the tournament this week. I was just a month too old to make the junior cut!)
4:45 Themis starts working with Michael a bit. We decide we should play a few holes together so Michael, Themis, and I head to 14 (which is right next to the driving range) and tee off
6:15 Birdie at 17 puts me one stroke ahead of Themis. He nearly drives the par-5 eighteenth in two, but misses his birdie putt by an inch. I try not to be too excited about it…
6:30 Head up to Flame (the restaurant at the Clubhouse) for drinks. Talk to some of the people running the Faldo tournament (its always “work” at the golf course)
8:00 Finally head back home. Twelve hours at the course? Sounds pretty amazing to me!