I must say, working at a golf course had some perks, it was laid back, free golf, free food, and the ability to watch others golf throughout my shift. I think us golfers can all admit, when we see someone hit a bad shot we automatically think that person is no good, and vice versa when they hit a good shot, what we don’t realize is the situation at hand. The same can be said for judging people from a far, and I have been guilty of that.
It was just like any normal shift, cleaning carts until the sun was about to go down, all was good until this man I had always seen at the course decided to tell me what to do. He didn’t work there, was not the owner, but for some reason everyone had listened to him. He had asked me to go around the course to take out the garbage at each tee box, something I was never asked to do…..and I was being told to do this by someone who I never knew. My first impression of the guy was he was way over his head, thinking he would come in here tell us what to do before he tees off, it was not a good impression…like who is this guy? This re-occurred for a few weeks where he would give the staff orders on what to do, and me personally I had never listened to him.
Fast forward a month later, one day I am golfing at the course I work at on my day off, and because of my luck it turns out this guy was playing behind me. He eventually skipped the hole in order to catch up to me so we could partner up…..oh boy. Obviously, he knew who I was, and I didn’t say no as that would be rude and awkward moving forward, so we paired up and off we went. What I didn’t realize is this guy would end up being my playing partner for the rest of the summer….and from time to time still is whenever I play.
I had asked him the first round we golfed why he wanted so many things done at the course, and his answer was that he likes when the course is well maintained, and that people had been leaving or not returning due to the poor conditions. I do admit, I had worked there for four years and it appeared each year the courses condition had gotten worse each year….and no not because of me. So, there it was, this guy who I originally thought just wanted to boss people around before he golfed was actually one who cared for the course and wanted it to be maintained properly so the courses reputation would not be damaged any further.
Like last story, I will keep the name private, but my playing partner had a big influence on me. I think the biggest way he influenced me was to look out for the course even on my days off. One time after we finished a round, we had offered the person in the pro-shop to drive back the dirty carts and to clean them, as no one was there to do them. Just like him, I had begun to look out for the course in my spare time, not because I must as an employee but because I wanted to.
The lesson here that I learned is you should never judge someone from a distance, no matter the circumstances. I had judged this guy when he decided to come in and what I thought was him bossing us around, was actually him just making us aware of the conditions of the course. The same can be said when golfing, you see someone hit a bad shot and you think they are no good, but maybe you play with them one day and they are better than you thought. Even in school, maybe you had a first encounter with someone who gave a bad impression, but once you get to know them you actually like this person and enjoy having them around.
I can honestly say that in these three scenarios I have been guilty of judging from a distance in each one. However, after my playing partner continued to encourage me to look out for the course on my own time, I have come to realize that judging from a distance serves no purpose when there might be opportunities to become closer.
What about you? Have you been in a situation where you judged someone from a distance and ended up being wrong? Would love to hear from you guys!