Making It (up as we go) Part 1: Golf Cart Ranger

The job doesn’t pay enough, and that’s why I can’t justify working there again, but damn it was fun.

Aaron J. Alford
4 min readJul 31, 2019
Courtesy of Boone Golf Club

I have worked a ton of diverse jobs, and some of them have taught me things. Some of them are disasters. Regardless, they are all part of making it up as we go. In this series, we will examine some of my many jobs and hopefully I can at least entertain you from the bottom of the economy.

A brief work history

I started working when I was a teenager. I made money as a landscaper, doing odd jobs, helping horse owners, and even working in a machine shop for about 6 months. I am now 25, so I have been working for about a decade. I have learned a lot from manual labor and I have also learned technical and creative work.

In the last 10 years I have worked the following positions:


Stable Cleaner
Machine Shop Worker
Highschool Debate Coach
Sound Designer
Sound Editor
Video editor and Animator/Intern
Visual Media Director
Podcast Editor
Video Production Intern
Collegiate Debate Coach
Public Speaking Instructor
Communication and PR Assistant


Historical Actor (The “Mickey Mouse” of Dayton)
Golf Cart Manager
Dish Washer
Commercial Photographer (Briefly, video is king)
Collegiate Debate Coach (Again)
PR and Communication Manager
Graphic Designer
Landscaper… for one day
Temp in a shipping department
Esports Journalist
Commercial Video Editor and Animator

I graduated from the University of Dayton with an M.A. in Communication in August of 2018. Since then I have works jobs from playing John Patterson, infamous industrialist, to managing the PR and Communications of crypto-currency companies. I have seen the American economy from a lot of perspectives.

Golf Cart Manager

While working part time as an assistant debate coach at Appalachian State University, I also got a job working at the golf course. I was a golf cart manager and course ranger. The golf course job paid 7.25 an hour, and what at a lovely golf course the Boone Golf Club is. Its a public course, the pro is Tom Adams (who is very dope). This pay was barely worth the time I spent there, if I judged my timely purely in dollars. However, I loved working at that golf course.

As a golf cart manager and course ranger, I was responsible for parking, cleaning, and handling all the golf carts on the course. Additionally, we patrolled the course to ensure that groups of golfers properly followed the rules and moved at a timely pace. We had a few other responsibilities like managing the range and locking doors up at night. The work environment was beautiful. Settled in the high country, the Boone Golf Course is a rolling hilly course surrounded by gorgeous mountains. The views alone are worth the price of playing the course, and I got those views for free. Patrolling the course, parking carts, and enjoying the breeze, it was hard to believe that I was getting paid in the first place. It was hella fun, especially when we were super busy.

The people who work at the course are incredible. Tom and his son Art Adams, the Assistant Golf Pro, are both awesome. They do a great job improving the course and its services year after year. Everyone is helpful and upbeat. My coworkers were always really flexible with my debate team schedule, and did a great job bringing me up to speed on the job itself. I quickly felt at home.

I have always found landscaping and other tasks that involve direct feedback to be rewarding. Public speaking is rewarding because I can experience a feedback with the audience that is really exciting. When I worked my earliest jobs as a landscaper, I would find a sense of joy in watching the space improve as we edged the beds and molded the land. Picking a golf range offers a similar satisfaction. The field goes from cluttered with golf balls, to clean and clear. There is something that is very satisfying to see the visual feedback of that work. I see a similar feedback loop in most of the fields I excel at, including video production, public speaking, and social media marketing.

I learned 3 big lessons at the golf course

  1. Golf is not so different from life. Its not about the game, its about who you play with. Company culture matters, and I think its important to look for a company that isn’t toxic or oppressive.
  2. I find joy in tasks where I can see progress and observe feedback. I find satisfaction in the completion of those projects whether it be a video edit, a finished flower bed, or a cleanly picked golf range.
  3. Even though I loved the job, it still needs to be paid more. I can’t economically justify spending my time serving the Boone Golf Club, because I obviously need income to survive. It would be really great if I could take that job again, but it just doesn’t make economic sense.

If you can ever work as a golf cart manager and course ranger, it might be worth your time, at least for a season or 2. Its a great part time job, but it won’t help with the rent much.



Aaron J. Alford

Media critique and memes. Writing about rhetoric and society. MA in Communication