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I really do enjoy my job. I’m not in an office all day and my work attire is, at its dressiest, still business casual. I get to see the return on my effort in the excitement on a client’s face when they’ve finally conquered that slice, or from satisfied tournament vendors thanking us for putting on a successful event for them.
But that isn’t to say that this job doesn’t have it’s downsides. There are self-entitled members that think my lips were made to fit their ass and it isn’t the most lucrative career available. The worst part of my job, though? It’s definitely having to talk about it.
When I first got into the golf business, I was pretty excited to mention it in conversation. “Golf Pro” isn’t what you normally hear someone say when you ask them what they do and I’m not ashamed to admit that when I first started the job and was out at a bar I didn’t immediately correct a girl that mistook that to mean I played on the Tour. Now, though? I’ve come to dread whenever I’m being introduced to someone and I can no longer avoid the topic of jobs because the responses to my answer are almost always the same.
“Oh, I suck at golf.”
What do I say to that? “Well I don’t, so, talk to you later,” or, “I’m sorry, you should let me fix that. Buy some lessons from me.” No thanks. I’m not too big on self-stroking my ego through trying to sell lessons to somebody I just met.
“So you must be pretty good.”
What should my go to response for this one be? “Yeah I am.” Again, I don’t toot my own horn, that’s not my thing. However, if I say no, they look at me with confusion as to why I would choose this career.
“What do you usually shoot?”
Have you ever been talking about a TV show or a movie with someone and you can tell they haven’t seen it but they try to pass off that they have? That’s what this conversation is like.
Usually the people that ask this question play, but they don’t play well enough to understand the nuances of the game. They don’t know that if someone is good you don’t need to ask them what they score. Or, they think existential validation as a golfer comes from the scorecard so their standard of measurement for a person is their handicap, despite the fact that theirs probably starts with a two.
“So what do you do up there then?”
This one is the least awkward, but I really don’t like talking about myself so itemizing out my job responsibilities is way better than talking about how much better at golf I am than the person I’m talking to. This one usually gets a generic, “Oh, a little bit of everything really.” If it’s golf related up at the club I’ve probably got something to do with it.
It’s not that I hate conversation. Overall I consider myself pretty socially adept and I know it’s not as bad as being military or law enforcement and having to deal with,”So you ever had to shoot somebody?”
It’s more so that as soon as I tell people what I do I get pigeonholed into being nothing more than a golf pro. Once that fact is revealed, the conversation isn’t going in any direction other than golf, which is a little disappointing. I talk golf six days a week, ten hours a day.
When I’m not at work and I’m around other people, I want to talk about pretty much anything other than golf. I’m an avid reader. Ask me what books I’ve finished lately. I’m a devoted baseball fan, let’s talk about how well my Rangers are doing. By the way, they’re doing pretty good, they have a two-game lead for best record in the AL. Alas, I’m just the golf pro who talks about golf. So, sure man, I’ll watch your swing..
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