My Life as a Golf Marshall; The Last of a Dying Breed


We can thank artificial intelligence for supposedly making our lives easier. That could be true but at what cost? Will the grocery clerk be completely replaced by self check out? Will hotel check-ins be handled by machines? Will passenger agents at airports be eliminated by machines? I attended a management session years ago and big shot bank executive slammed the brick-and-mortar concept for banks and praised online banking to no end. Bricks and mortar are expensive and paying human beings is expensive. Anyone in a branch was a “service hog”. His view was frankly anti-human and pro-profit for “The Senior Management Team” of the bank!

Well the Golf Marshall is going the way of the dodo bird. Generally speaking if they are paid at all they are either volunteers or poorly paid. Most often they are retirees looking for the advantages of free golf. They love golf and many revel in the opportunity to talk golf with the golfers and teach etiquette to the juniors on the course who have no concept that checking their phones on the green before putting is a flagrant violation of etiquette.

They are there as ambassadors and polite enforcers and they are real live human beings but they are an endangered breed in the mania to reduce costs hence increase profits. In many courses they are already extinct replaced by “pace clocks” on the course and GPS units clipped onto golf bags tracking and spying continually on golfers’ every move. I am sure speakers will soon be installed on golf courses in Big Brother fashion barking orders to speed up.

Who is going to tell the golfer about the nasty geese on the third hole and the terrible slopes on the green begging to suck your golf ball in? Who is going to comfort the frustrated golfer having a bad day? Who is there to give a golf ball to a delighted young golfer?

I applied for the job as a Marshall after 33 years as a corporate lawyer negotiating multi billon dollar deals but now I am lord and master of anyone from stoners to senior executives where my negotiation skills are somewhat neutered and I am resigned to polite begging. The power of gentle persuasion.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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