Cart Barn Confessionals are reader-submitted memoirs from their years as employees at a private country club or golf course. If you have a story you'd like to share, email Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Rob Samson:
About three years ago I started pulling carts in the morning at my local muni. I live in a pretty small town with a decent course and took over for an old timer who had moved. It takes about an hour when I jog and I mostly do it for the exercise. I'm 38 with two small kids and a wife who is understanding about my golf addiction.
I've been golfing since 2002 and have met some pretty cool people over the years. It became an addiction once I broke 80 and started playing tournaments. Beating my score was an obsession that lead me to setting some goals. My first was to become scratch and my second was to win the Club Championship. I managed to accomplish both goals last year and I owe it to my early morning practice sessions.
I pull carts 3-4 days a week and practice for an hour before getting one of my sons ready for school. I've got a small business and my schedule is flexible enough to be a stay-at-home dad to my 1-year-old while my wife works a regular 9-to-5.
Being able to have time to practice in the morning is therapeutic. Before I started working at the course I'd spend roughly $2000 a year on monthly memberships, carts, food/drinks, as well as equipment purchases. I don't get paid to pull carts; it's a volunteer position which includes free range, carts, golf, plus being able to get equipment at cost. I've probably saved $6000 since I took the gig.
Something I hadn't really thought about until writing this. In my head I just see it as a morning exercise in exchange for free golf.
In a way, I consider golf a side job. I play with several groups of guys who love playing for money. It's definitely fun making money off of friends but their are times where I may lose a few hundred on poor play. Play well and I may take home half of a mortgage payment after one round. Since I achieved my goals last year I had to set new ones. I'd like to win the City Am as well as take the course record 64.
Looking at the clock it's 5:40 a.m. and I'm about to head out to the course. In fact I'm a bit late and I may not have time to putt today. It doesn't really matter though; I'll be there tomorrow morning.