Your golf guy has had many jobs, most of them good. Good or bad, I have always learned something from every work experience I have had.
My first job was selling flower seeds door to door. Not a bad gig for a 10-year-old. And who could resist my cleverly crafted sales pitch: “Hello, would you like to buy some seeds?” Worked like a charm.
My job as your golf columnist is right at the top of the many different vocations I have tried my hand at. Who wouldn’t like working with people who are having fun and being outside, enjoying Mother Nature?
I’m fortunate because I get to pick and choose what I want to write about and who I want to deal with. Not so for the folks who work in the pro shop at a golf course. Here are some phone calls made to golf clubs to give you some idea:
Caller: “Do you have a twilight rate?”
Attendant: “Yes, it’s 15 dollars after 2 o’clock.”
Caller: “And what time does that start?”
Caller: “I’d like some info about your golf course.”
Attendant: “Certainly. What would you like to know?”
Caller: “I don’t know. That’s why I called.”
Caller: “Do you have a dress code?”
Attendant: “Yes, we do. We require soft spikes.”
Caller: “How about clothes?”
Attendant: “Yes, you have to wear clothes.”
Kaitie Mazzaferro of Southold, soon to be relocating to North Carolina, has been a shining light for 11 years at Island’s End Golf Course in Greenport. Those who have dealt with Kaitie know that she definitely loves her job.
Kaitie was kind enough to answer a few questions about what it’s been like for her working at Island’s End.
Golf Gazette: When did you start working at Island’s End?
Kaitie Mazzaferro: I started working in the spring of 2005, when I was a sophomore in high school.
GG: What have been your responsibilities?
KM: I started out washing and parking golf carts. I now work in the pro shop and have become the financial manager at Island’s End.
GG: What is the most interesting part of your job?
KM: The golfers. Dealing with golfers is interesting, difficult, challenging, boring, funny and exasperating. I love it even when I hate it.
GG: What is the most challenging part of your job?
KM: Trying to appease the complainers. It could be the most beautiful day, the course could be in great shape, they could have played their best round ever, and they still find something to complain about.
GG: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
KM: When people come in after their round and tell me they had a great day. Golf is a way to relax and enjoy yourself. Too many people treat it like a chore.
GG: What could customers do to make your job easier?
KM: Be flexible when it comes to making a tee time. I ask a simple question, “What time are you looking to go out?” and I will get, “Well, what times do you have available?” We have tee times every nine minutes from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Please, give us a hint.
GG: What will you miss most about working at Island’s End?
KM: The people and the relationships I’ve built these past 11 years. Island’s End is my home. The people are my family.
I know I will miss seeing Kaitie in the pro shop, talking with her about what books we’re reading and solving the world’s problems. I will miss seeing Kaitie sitting at her table under a shady tree during the summer, organizing the golf school for kids. Along with so many others, I will miss Kaitie’s always upbeat personality and warm, friendly smile.
Good luck, Kaitie. We will miss you.