Old Bridge teen workers take time off for tournament

June 13, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

There's nothing like taking a little time off work to head for the golf course - even if that's where you work.

Many of those who work at golf courses do so because they love to play,

It was all play and no work for a few hours Friday for two of the teenagers employed at Old Bridge Golf Club as they hit the links for the Musselman-Dunne Junior Golf Tour stop, which was held at the course.

Clay Carter of Danville and Andrew Yeast of Harrodsburg were part of a field of 135 boys and girls in the tournament, the seventh of 19 events in the statewide summer series.

But while most of the young players were here only for the day, Carter and Yeast are here day after day during the summer, working around the course and working on their games.


They are part of a troupe of teen golfers that club professional Bruce Brown employs each summer as part of his course's commitment to junior golf. In exchange for their work, they get some spending money, free golf and the chance to learn both formally and informally from Brown and the others on his staff.

They had special desire to play well

Both Yeast and Carter had played in Musselman-Dunne events in Bardstown and Richmond in recent days, but as part of the home team for Friday's tournament - along with Nick Patterson of Harrodsburg - they had a special desire to play well.

"It means a whole lot more because I come out here all the time, and I wanted to do good," Yeast said.

In fact, Yeast, a freshman-to-be at Mercer County High School, did make a good showing, shooting 78 to finish sixth in the 12- and 13-year-old boys division.

Things didn't go so well for Carter, who was well back in the pack in the boys 16-18 division with an 81.

"I've been playing pretty decent out here," said Carter, who will be a junior at Boyle County High School. "I had a couple of stupid penalty strokes (and) a bunch of bogeys."

Carter had high hopes for the day. He said none of the many students of club professional Bruce Brown and assistant Dan Schott have ever won this tournament, and he wanted to be the first.

"I planned on winning it," Carter said. "I play (the course) every day, and I practice out here all the time."

But he couldn't recover after hitting two balls in the water on the first hole, his 10th hole, where he took an 8.

Yeast started strong with a par on his first hole, the par-3 10th - "And that's always good," he said. His 38 on the back nine was highlighted by a chip-in for birdie on the 14th.

"I tried to stay relaxed and take one shot at a time," he said.

By early afternoon, Yeast was back at work

Yeast had an early-morning tee time, meaning he was finished with his round near midday. By early afternoon, he was at work in the pro shop, corralling carts and answering the phone.

"I just like being out here, seeing all these guys, watching them play golf," Yeast said. "To get to be around all these guys and see how good they are, it gives you a better opportunity."

Yeast said his goal is to earn a college golf scholarship, something players such as Dan Schott, Nick Marsee and Luke Lovell who now work at Old Bridge did as high schoolers.

"I look up to them a lot. A lot of them have gone to college and earned scholarships," Yeast said.

Yeast is in his first year as a part-time worker; Carter is in his second, though he said he has been hanging around the pro shop for many more years.

"My dad brought me out here when I was big enough to swing a club," he said.

And Carter said now that he works there, he can't imagine a better summer job.

"It's laid back, you get to be outside, on a golf course. You can't beat it," he said.

"You always talk to people and they give you tips. It's a fun place to be at."

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