“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)