GOLFWORKS a Tradition at Metropolis
By: Jeff Day
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (September 4, 2012) – Metropolis Country Club in White Plains, N.Y. has been a participant of the MGA Foundation’s student internship program, GOLFWORKS, since its inception in 1994 thanks to the late, Gene Borek, who was Metropolis’s longtime head professional. Borek was not just supervisor to his GOLFWORKS interns, but a mentor, role model and friend. He took the time to teach them life skills, build their confidence and guide them through difficulties.
Borek died in 2009, but his legacy lives on at Metropolis. Having GOLFWORKS interns there has been a tradition, and after Borek’s passing the MGA and MGA Foundation Board of Directors established a permanent GOLFWORKS Intern Scholar at Metropolis in his honor. This year, the club is employing first-year GOLFWORKS interns Awa Nyambi and Julie Hung, who are both from Hartsdale, N.Y,. and work on the club’s outside operations staff.
Students of Woodlands High School in White Plains, N.Y., Nyambi, 15, is entering his sophomore year, and Hung, 16, is entering her junior year. Both play on the Woodlands golf team and both found out about GOLFWORKS through Woodlands Physical Education teacher and Golf Coach Carlos Rodriguez. Nyambi and Hung, who are both members of the school’s band and Key clubs, are very much enjoying their summer work experiences, which consist of maintaining Metropolis’s practice facilities and providing customer service to the club’s members.
“It’s a good job and I like it here,” says Nyambi, who is also a member of the Woodlands soccer and academic challenge teams. “We take care of the range and chipping green and pick up balls if there are any out and refill the buckets if they are running low.”
“We also bring bags from the bag room to the range or from the range to the first tee,” adds Hung, who participates in Woodlands’s yearbook and newspaper clubs. “Then at the end of the day we clean up the range and rake the practice bunkers.”
Metropolis provides a friendly working environment and Nyambi and Hung like who they work with as well as the members they work for.
“I have good colleagues,” says Nyambi, “It’s fun here, meeting the people that are members and just communicating with them because a lot of the people here are successful people, they’re not just anybody, they are somebody. So just interacting with them is fun. I don’t think I’ve found out all their secrets of success just yet; that’s coming!”
“I like the diversity; talking to the members and even the other employees,” she says. “Everyone is really different, so I like that. I talked to some of the caddies and I didn’t know most of them go to Florida for the winter or the Kitchen Staff that most of them are from South Africa. It’s interesting how every lifestyle around here is different.”
And despite being young teenagers, Nyambi and Hung understand the value of customer service. “It’s part of our job to make sure everyone is happy,” says Hung.
Nyambi and Hung’s supervisor is assistant golf professional Rob Gable, who has been very impressed with the work of Metropolis’s GOLFWORKS interns, both past and present, as they have become an institution at Metropolis over the past 18 years.
“Awa and Julie help us out a lot,” says Gable. “They really keep the members moving and it’s great to have them here. Gene [Borek] was a big fan of GOLFWORKS, and I’m sure he’d love having these two around as much as we do.”
Founded in 1994, the MGA Foundation’s GOLFWORKS program is designed to give its participants—high school aged students—exposure to the many career opportunities within the golf industry by providing meaningful summer work experiences. The young adults who participate in GOLFWORKS complete an internship in an environment that revolves around golf, which in itself can teach the lessons of honor, integrity and tradition and provides an activity that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. In addition, GOLFWORKS provides a good salary as well as networking opportunities to its interns, and a way for interns to learn the skills necessary to pursue their career interests.