If you’re looking for a little virus-shutdown inspiration, I’d point you to the efforts of Los Angeles’ elite clubs taking care of golf’s ultimate gig economy entrepreneurs and on-course pyschoanalysts: the caddies. You know the pro jocks.
While this seemingly involves a mere effort toward first world-perk sustainability, we all know how caddying pays. Or what the hours are like and who the clients are! So while the effort detailed below only impacts a small number, those with open minds will realize how the efforts in LA may be need to be replicated nationally and internationally. Only the future of one of the world’s oldest professions is at stake.
A profession that has given us some of the game’s greatest players and characters.
The issue simplified: while other golf and Country Club staff are more likely to be entitled to benefits and official assistance programs during COVID-19 related closures, California labor laws do not allow clubs to offer official assistance. (Independent contractors in the gig economy may struggle to reap any benefits from governmental intervention, a story for another day soon, hopefully.)
Inspired by Wilshire Country Club members Dan Hubbert and Matt Sinnreich (detailed here by GolfDigest.com’s Dave Shedloski), each of the other elite LA clubs has begun to take donations collected by an individual member, or using GoFundMe. The idea is to help caddies with their bills while courses are closed.
I’ve heard of strong efforts at Bel-Air and Brentwood. A search of GoFundMe turns up efforts at Lakeside, Riviera and Los Angeles Country Club in addition to the original, Wilshire CC.
As of this post the totals with the goal of dispersing emergency financial assistance:
Wilshire CC - $80,090 of a $60,000 goal
Lakeside GC - $54,406 of $60,000 goal
Riviera CC - $95,920 of $100,000 goal
Los Angeles CC - $229,071 of $300,000 goal
Fans of screen and sport will get a kick out of some from Riviera’s donor group. One just signed a nice 2-year $60 million deal. But more vitally, the dollar figures are impressive and hopefully inspire those who can afford to give back in the name of protecting golf’s treasured caddies.
This post first appeared on GeoffShackelford.com, With GolfDigest.com - A Blog Devoted To The State Of Golf., please read the originial post: here