"Rancho Park is a city-owned course, and we get a lot of play. We're in the top three nationwide for annual rounds, about 118,000. Not everyone understands how big our job is. You mow your lawn twice a week? Well, imagine your lawn is 140 acres, and you mow it seven days a week, using tractors and fertilizers and 20 mowers, and you have to work without bothering 118,000 people and instead of an inch, you're cutting it to an eighth of an inch. It feels good to help people enjoy the game more. No one likes a chewed-up course. We make the experience better.
"We're a close-knit group, 15 full-timers and eight part-timers. And we're diverse: We have two females, two African-Americans, workers from the Philippines, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico. It's a real rainbow coalition! We're here by 5 a.m. and we work six, seven days a week, Christmas and New Year's, rain or shine. There are long hours, but there's nothing like the pride you get in a job well done. Even when I play, I'm working. I say, 'That needs mowing,' 'Forgot to pick up that trash.'
"Work at a private course?
Never say never, but I've been with the city for 30 years. I'm a muni-course kinda guy."
Calvin White, 48, Rancho Park Golf Course superintendent (center, pictured in USC sweatshirt)