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Always be mindful that cart attendants are an important “sprocket” among the numerous gears that turn as part of a synchronized crew at a golf facility. The cart crew is not an autonomous group. They are integral to all operations and they must be mindful that it’s all about synchronization with leadership and management, the maintenance crew, the pro shop, the golf course superintendent, the range crew, the starters, the rangers, the beverage cart, the snack shack, the golf simulators, the restaurant, the hotel and conference center, and every other crew operating to serve and astonish golfers and others on the property.

Cart attendant or customer attendant?

The cart attendant is the first point of contact — the point person. The first impression they make will set the tone and resonate for those coming to visit your facility to play golf or engage in other activities at the property.

They are a specialist and perform specialized duties that require skill and mental sharpness. However, they must not adopt an “It’s not my job.” attitude. The job title is cart attendant but at the core they are a CUSTOMER ATTENDANT!

The ideal manner to define a customer is an individual (or organization) essential for a golf facility to exist. There are two categories. Ultimate Customers, who are “end users” like golfers, and Transactional Customers, who are fellow workers in all areas along with suppliers and vendors. Employees must aspire to not only astonish golfers, but to also be aware of the wide array of individuals and organizations essential for a golf facility to exist.

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When circumstances present themselves or when problems happen — when other crews need some help or especially when golfers or others on the grounds need some assistance — then a cart attendant must get to it as rapidly as they can to bring the situation to an individual or individuals formally responsible and accountable for what needs to be done.

A big part of the job is problem solving and critical thinking. They are encouraged to do just that by representing the course and all the other operations in proximity of the golfing operations.

Among the most important skills they will bring to work is that of anticipation. Aspire to be ever mindful to remain situationally aware and anticipate problems, especially those involving pace of play. During down times, they should find things to do, cleaning, organizing and filling gaps others may have missed. This time is not meant for browsing the Internet or playing on a phone. Like all employees, a cart attendant should earn their pay every minute of every day. That is honorable.

New cart attendants can benefit from making time on their own to observe and interact with multi-season cart crew members to learn from their wisdom. The day will come — promise — when they will be grateful for making this time investment.

Who pays the check?

Always remember who pays an employee’s check. Ultimate Golfers, the golfers and others who engage throughout the property, fall into this category. Yes, somebody associated with the facility’s leadership signs the check but the funds to make this possible originate from Ultimate Customers.

Remember that the club has made a check possible and those of hundreds of others because it created Ultimate Customers through leadership and initiatives. Had people not devoted energy, taken huge risks and worked countless long hours, nothing would be possible — or continue to be possible. The club continues to devote vast amounts of time, thought, money and energy to keep the operation going. Understand this and honor this.

Recognize that what goes on is not perfect — it is ever-evolving and dynamic. Employees must do their part to develop, innovate and implement systems, processes and protocols to improve. Make sure contributions are made to the evolution and legacy of the operation. It is an opportunity now to bring to this new skill sets, personality, energy and creativity.

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Employees are now part of this important community and regional legacy. Wouldn’t you agree that they have a duty and responsibility to perpetuate the facility?

Take the work and the job seriously because competition for golfers will only increase. When they are astonished — and when an employee is highly professional in performing their important cart attendant duties — their trust and loyalty is amplified. In turn, customers will promote your facility to their peers.

A cart attendant can enrich the experience of anybody who visits your facility. Take pride in this. This is honorable work. Aspire to be a high performer in your duties as they are crucial in this ecosystem at your club and in this great game of golf. Always keep in mind.

It’s not rocket science … it’s sprocket science!

Rich Obertots is the CEO of ThinkThroughTools, LLC a firm that originates outreach, marketing and customer focus systems and software for air medical transport programs and hospital systems throughout the United States. Now semi-retired, he is a part-time cart attendant at Kennsington Golf Club in Canfield, Ohio. This is his first Golf Course Industry contribution.