ListsNovember 10, 2016

A highly unofficial ranking of who has the most juice at your golf club

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Slighted. It's a sentiment all golfers feel, especially at a club. Be it a single who's frustrated that the foursome ahead won't wave him through, or the 65-and-over women's league that asserts their tee times are second-rate, to the club president upon finding a car in their saved parking spot, disrespect runs rampant. This stems from the belief that a lack of homage or reverence is being paid, yet that esteem banks on a bold assumption: that one is due respect.

Which can be a tough pill to swallow. If you're dropping the type of coin most country clubs require, you expect certain amenities in return. And for many, that includes deference. But the reality is, some golf figures carry more power than the rest. Here is a highly unofficial ranking of who has the most juice at your golf club.

Assistant pro

You have to feel for the poor bastards. This position handles the grunt work. They are one of the first to arrive and last to leave, and they have to suck up to everyone at the club. Despite these efforts, assistants are treated as plebes.

Waiter/waitress

The assistant pros of the restaurant. At least they get tipped.

Caddie master

Embodiment of a Catch-22, as they are given control over an uncontrollable bunch. There's a reason you rarely see a caddie master without a cigarette or a bottle of Tums in hand.

Cart girl

The amount of sexism, chauvinism, discrimination is deplorable, but they make bank, and if you piss them off, good luck staying hydrated the rest of the summer.

Juniors

Indentured servants of golf. They technically have rights, but no one knows for sure what they are or acknowledge they exist.

Singles

As we've mentioned in this space before, "A single has no rights." Groups greet inbound singles in the same manner as a mariachi band on the subway. Ignore it, keep your head down, don't look at them. Sadly, solo players can't salsa away, forced to the fate of a long round ahead.

Vice president

Just like the real VEEP: a seemingly powerful position that holds very little actual power.

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Bartender

It's amazing the things people disclose after a pint or two of Guinness. Your barman is the gatekeeper to the club's most salacious tidbits. He might pour you a drink with a smile on his face, but know that he can drop the hammer down on anyone at anytime. That, my friends, is power.

Seniors

As a society, we generally mistreat our elders, and this tends to be the case in golf clubs as well. However, it's this crowd's scrutiny, inquisitiveness and care that serves as the engine for clubs. You could also make the case this group records the most rounds at the course. Some old-timers definitely emit an overbearing vibe because of the aforementioned characteristics, but give them the respect they deserve.

Secretary/Operations chairperson/Treasurer

I've found the people with these responsibilities have more power than they let on. These are the folks that get things done behind the scenes, and do it without making a fuss. Be nice to this sect; there's a good chance they'll one day have higher rank.

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Superintendent

If the super doesn't do his job, you can't enjoy golf. Conversely, the superintendent seemingly operates on a never-ending hot seat. In many ways, this position is like an NFL long snapper: if things are going well, you don't hear a peep about the guy. But when things go wrong, you definitely know his name.

Head of greens committee

The bar bouncers of clubs. They wield control, and let everyone know about it. If you see a person carrying themselves with an undeserved sense of accomplishment, that's the head of the greens committee. But, to be fair, every club needs a drill sergeant to keep the course's condition in line. This person is not the most liked, but is vital to the club's existence.

Head pro

If the pro is beloved and/or one of the better players in the area, the position is a point of pride for the club. The pro has a hand in nearly every club-related affair, and you'd be shocked to find out how much these guys take in from pro shop sales. However, they work for the members. Some will definitely puff out there chest push like they own the place, but, ultimately they have to answer to you.

Club president

Ostensibly the top dog, has absolute control over your fate (as well as the club's), everyone kisses this person's behind. A good leader can define the entire ambience of the joint. So why isn't this person No. 1 on our list? Simple...

Club champion

A club president can buy respect. The club champion has to earn it. This person can be a jerk, narcissist, loner...it doesn't matter. The game does all the talking needed. The club champ ranks supreme in our country club juice rankings.

Well, except for...

First-tee starter

We are all slaves to his whim.

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