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Uncomforta

ble Golfing

by Alina Le gay

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Table Of Contents Dedication........................................................pg 4 Foreword...........................................................pg 6 Introduction....................................................pg 8 Golf and it’s Managment...........................pg 10 Involvement in Youth..................................pg 14 Can You Say Rude?.....................................pg 22 Conclusion........................................................pg 28 Works Cited Page........................................pg 30 3


Dedication

The sign on the grass to make people aware. 4


I’d like to dedicate this to Mark Petersen for helping out and being supportive. Big thanks to Freestyle Academy.

The pro shop where people can buy equipment.

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d r o w e r o F

The golf clubs on sale at the Pro Shop. 6


I remember the first time I walked into the Palo Alto Hills Country Club to pick up a friend. I was wearing a big sweatshirt with leggings and tennis shoes. The amount of mean glares I got was ridiculous. I know many of my friends have memberships to Country Clubs and I have always wondered if the people there were also as mean and judgmental as the Palo Alto Club. With this project I wanted to show that Community Golf Courses are just as nice without all the cliquish elders. You do not have to have a trust fund and you can do exactly what you came for, play golf! Choosing this topic was a fairly easy decision to make because I personally know the manager at the Sunnyvale Community Golf Course. Gathering information was hard because having to work around peoples’ schedules was inconvenient but in the end the project was worth the digging.

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n o i t c u d o r t In Have you ever walked into a Golf Resort and automatically felt as if you don’t belong? Did you want to grab your stuff and run straight for the door because the number of people staring at you made you weak in the knees? I believe that every town needs a place where they can do what they would like without worrying about being left out, that’s why people come to the Sunnyvale Community Golf Course. Golf is one of the many sports that has quite a stereotype for your everyday “rich, white people.” But should everyone that plays golf be rich and white? Not at the Sunnyvale Golf Course! They are always open for everyone and anyone that wants to play golf. Since many of its customers aren’t made of money, they can’t always afford to spend the day at an exclusive Country Club such as the Pebble Beach Resorts. With super low rates, the Sunnyvale Golf Course allows people of all ages to play without robbing a bank.

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Often times people in Country Clubs feel out of place or as if they don’t fit in. I personally know the manager at the Sunnyvale Golf Course, and I know that he and his team will try to help everyone and make everyone feel comfortable in the playing environment. Not only do they have a junior program but also have discounts for playing during certain hours. They have a clean and maintained facility and doesn’t look like a community golf course at all! Golf is a sport that helps people both mentally and physically so having a golf course in which everyone feels safe is very important. Golf is a sport in which it’s not only helping your health but also keeps your brain working. Golf helps people who might be having a stressful week, it’s relaxing. It’s always nice to wake up on a beautiful Saturday morning and play a sport surrounded by water, grass, and ducks! Also golf keeps people physically fit. Since golf is a sport for mainly seniors, walking is the perfect way to keep them in shape without putting too much stress. The park-like setting also has a psychological health benefit. Golf is overall a good sport, therefore we need to make sure that everyone has the money and ability to play!

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Golf and its management

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Originally golf started out as a feather-stuffed ball being hit by tree branches, look how far we’ve come! The roots of golf can be traced all the way back to Scotland in 1457. Golf became a very popular pastime in Great Britain in the seventeenth century and still remains that way today. I got to get in touch with the manager of Sunnyvale Golf who was able to share some very useful information with me. I know managing a golf course may seem easy but plenty of skills go into managing a golf course. First off, the most important part of being a manager is to know what you’re doing in terms of finance. My inter viewee Mark Petersen, who is currently the manager of Sunnyvale Golf and Sunken Gardens Golf, says that “You get to meet a lot of new people and there’s different activities you’re involved in, you’re involved in making sure the course is in goo d condition, you’re involved in marketing...” You have to know a lot about the equipment and what you need to stock up on You have to control the bu dget and make sure you have enough money to meet all demands. One of the most important things you have to be a part of is food and beverage ser vices. Everyone loves foo d and you have to know what kind of food people prefer having on their relaxing afternoon. Keeping the course in prime condition takes time and money too.

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Over the years, our technology has obviously grown and it has impacted golf in quite a beneficial way. The equipment has been mo dified a lot to be where it is to day, nowadays; golf clubs are made out of graphite and titanium so they are lighter. Also they have bigger sweet spots so that it’s easier to hit the ball and get it right where you want it. The Sunnyvale Golf Course keeps up with all the new equipment and makes sure that players always have the most comfortable playing gear. The players of golf have also been modified to fit into to day’s world. The main types of people that prefer golf are competitive people over the age of 40. So on a Sunday morning, a group of seniors get together, drink some beers and gamble a little. Not only do they get their man-time, they also get a goo d exercise. Wives just can’t complain! There are also people who want to play golf on an even higher level and win trophies or prizes. Mostly people just play it to get out of the house and relax. The Sunnyvale golf course is often trying to promote junior golfers to get involved and spread golf. They have discounts for juniors and have lessons where they can learn and enhance their skills. Golf is actually a sport that is very diverse in race! Japanese people often played golf while on business trips in the United States, also the Chinese and Korean people very much enjoy playing golf. Even though many Indian people enjoy playing tennis, they are slowly finding their way into the golf scene. So golf should not be known for only having white folks.

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Involvement in youth Many young teens are starting to form an interest in golf. For some, parents are influencing their decision to start, for others its peers. One of my friends is currently playing at the Sunnyvale Golf Course and his grandfather got him interested in golf two years ago! He’s on the Mountain View High School Golf Team and he also plays for fun. He said than many of his friends play golf and enjoy it. The younger age groups vary from little children all the way up to eighteen year-olds. Golf Clubs are expensive so with the school’s funding; the team is able to get good clubs. Even on normal golf courses, you can find many cheap golf clubs for teens that maybe can’t splurge on a new set of clubs. Transportation is a little bit more difficult for a regular golf course because you have to find your own ride, but when you’re on the team, they have buses that transport students where they need to go. Since many teenagers have their license, it’s easy for them to carpool with their friends and engage in golf even more by having their friends there to have fun with. One book series that everyone is familiar with “Golfing for Dummies” states that playing with friends makes people less tense and makes them enjoy the 14 game.


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Teenagers these days are doing many things that aren’t in their best interest such as drinking and doing drugs so it’s very important that we get them more involved in things such a golf. Golf gives the brain a workout because you need to understand how hard you need to hit the ball and which club you should use, it also helps them stay fit and healthy. And the best part about golf is that it is at a community golf course so you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars for your child to play. For teens it’s also hard for them to get involved in everything that they want because they have limitations such as transportation and prices therefore, if we can find something nearby that isn’t super expensive and isn’t hard to get to then we can most definitely involve teenagers into things that will help them out. Going out and playing golf with your friends after a long day at school can be insanely relaxing; having a snack and just hanging out under the sun.

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“You get the folks that like it just for a little bit of exercise because they get a nice walk when they walk a course.� -Mark Petersen

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The Sunnyvale Golf Course also offers volunteer hours for students who need to get in their hours before they graduate, volunteering at a community golf course can be a great learning experience and can also get people more involved in golf. Teens can also compete in bigger competitions such as the U.S Kids Golf Foundation, which is a worldwide competition for teens ages thirteen to eighteen.They get to compete on some of the most revered golf courses in the world and play against others their own age. Golf competitions are very rigorous and competitive and can bring lots of fame to a young golfer. Many girls are also great golfers! A seventeen year-old girl name Mariah Stackhouse is the youngest African American to qualify for the U.S Women’s Open. Golfing takes a lot of skill and concentration which is great for the young mind. Golfing improves teens social lives by introducing them to new people and getting them out there to do something that they enjoy. Why spend a ton of money on a Country Club where the child will never feel fully comfortable, when you can put them on a community course and let them play golf without worrying what they are wearing and how much money is in the wallet. Teens are stressed enough with school and friends so being put in a social circle where they have to worry about everything can’t be any help. Letting teens be in an easygoing environment can benefit them a lot more in the long run.

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Can you say rude?! Golf at a Country Club is a lot different than a community golf, but it is not any better. Oftentimes Country Clubs not only focus on the actual sport but also focus on the look of the people. People have a dress code that they need to follow and have more than enough rules. Of course rules are mandatory for an area such as a golf course but Country Clubs are a lot more picky and a lot more strict. I know that on a Community course you have to dress a certain way, but at a fancier golf course, the people not only have to wear very specific outfits, they also have to keep themselves put together. Of course they have the right to be, but being rude to people will not get you the attention you want. Country Clubs often have a very exclusive social group and it’s very hard to just naturally fit in. You have to wear certain brands and have a certain social group. At community golf courses everyone is friends with everyone. Golf should be a fun sport where you can relax and discuss your lives with others, not a competition for who has more money! Often times when you think of Country Clubs you think of nice elderly getting together and sharing a beer, but since today’s social lives often come from the amount of money someone has, the rich and confident have taken over. If someone feels as if they don’t fit in, they just leave. My English teacher told me that he once got a coupon for a Country Club and he felt completely out of it and since his golf playing skills were not the best he felt even more left out. Many Country Clubs are judgemental which makes it hard to just play and enjoy yourself. Often times you find eyes staring at you just because you aren’t wearing the right brand of pants, or because you didn’t hit the ball as far as someone else. 22


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One particular golf course is the Los Altos Country Club. At the Los Altos country club, people wear expensive clothing, send their kids to expensive preparatory schools, and drink expensive wine. They have a strict dress code in which you cannot wear jeans or short skirts, khakis or proper shorts are allowed. You have to wear proper golfing shoes and have to always be quiet. You may not talk on the phone or do anything that causes a disturbance. When i asked my interviewee Bella Gratziani what the people are like her response was “People who have like a decent amount of money, theres not a lot of social wiggle room, you have to fit into their social standards or you’ll feel very awkward.” This already shows what kind of people attend the Country Club. Bella is a member at the Los Altos Country Club. Now I’m not saying that Country Clubs are bad; if you have the money and enjoy the environment it’s perfect but if you can’t afford the Country Club and just want to golf, community golf courses are the place to go. Bella also told me that when her brother ran on the golf course they asked him to leave. Of course children will do foolish things, but escorting them out isn’t very appropriate. And now whenever he comes, they remind him to not run. The people there are rude and believe that all people should be a certain way. In most cases, if you don’t conform into what they think you should be then they will not be friends with you.

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“The Los Altos is a really high social expectations and you have to conform to their social standards.� -Bella Gratziani 27


Conclusion I have experience with both Country Clubs and Community Courses and overall community courses are just very simple and easygoing without putting too much pressure on people in terms of what they have to wear and what they have to act like. Golf is a great sport for people of all ages; it gives you a physical workout and gives you a good stress reliever and more teenagers need to get involved. A lot of people are not yet aware of golf and the word needs to be spread. It is told that golf helps you live longer because a round of golf takes about five hours to play. Those five hours are spent walking around under the sun, in that time you burn around three hundred calories per hour.

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Works cited Page Petersen, Mark. Personal Interview. 11 March. 2013. Petersen, Kyle. Personal Interview. 19 March. 2013. Gratziani, Bella. Personal Interview. 21 March. 2013. “The Roots and History of Golf ”, Athnet, Get Recruited to Play College Sports, 15 March 2013. “World Championship and Teen World Championship” U.S Kids Golf Foundation. 19 March 2013. Stibich, Mark “Golf Increases Life Expectancy” About.com 23 February 2009. 22 March 2013. Allen, Dave “ClubTest 2013: Iron” Golf Sports Illustrated 01 March 2013. 30 March 2013 . Jennings, Jake “Weather, high prices put squeeze on golf courses” Gale Student Resources 30 June 2008. 30 March 2013. Gale number:GALE|A181409848

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