John “Butch” Cassidy: Golf club “Volunteer of the Month”

Larry CanningBy Larry Canning.

FROM Boolbardie Country Club in mystical Monkey Mia WA to beautiful Byron Bay Golf Club perched out on the Pacific Ocean in NSW, Australian golf club staff members are hard at work from daylight till dawn, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

Golf clubs in this country can cover a huge socio-economic demographic from the inner city exclusive clubs that have the luxury of hiring roughly the same amount of staff as they have bunker rakes, to small regional clubs with barely enough staff to operate.

John Cassidy golf club volunteer
Larry Canning reckons Mt Broughton Golf Club’s John “Butch” Cassidy is “Golf Club Volunteer of the Year”

At the top end of the spectrum there can be board members sitting around an expensive table on June 30th each year drinking a lovely bottle of Penfolds 707 Cabernet Sauvignon discussing where the new Nail Salon should be built while other less affluent club committees are sitting on milk crates drinking VB in stubby holders, while their clubs are clinging on by their financial fingernails.

Having spent a number of my working years in the Stubby Holder Golf Club Community I have come to realize just how important the volunteer worker is at golf clubs with little staff. Sure they can be a little outspoken and come out with some quite inappropriate dirty jokes right when a mother walks in with her kid for the Tuesday afternoon junior clinic… but the devotion and passion they have for their clubs is flat out brilliant and crucial for the financial future of not only their beloved golf facility but for the game of golf in this country.

So… I have to tell you about my mate who helps me in the Proshop at Mt Broughton Golf Club. He’ll be embarrassed if I use his name and I did think about not actually writing it here… But then I thought, bugger it!!. I’m going to sing his name out loud and strong because John Patrick Cassidy (member number 466) is a bloody LEGEND. 

As you can imagine, John goes under a number of cheesy nicknames, such as Butch, Sundance, “Cassanova”, Fidel “Casstro”, Cassius Clay, Casstastrophe, Cassa-Daley and a couple of others the editors will edit out if I write them in. I simply call him “Cass”. I have to keep it short and sharp so I can get his attention before he enters into another bad joke at the wrong time.

The little fella has recently retired and really should be kicking back in front of the TV, beer in hand doing, well absolutely nothing. But Cass will have none of that; he is one of those blokes who just has to be doing something productive. Even if it means being paid roughly $0 per hour with very little prospect of any form of penalty rates.

Mind you, there’s always time at the end of the day for a Yenda Mid-Strength Session Ale and yes…. more bad jokes. Unfortunately our Course Super, Graham, finds Cass’s one liners, funny metaphors and filthy jokes incredibly humorous to the point where I fear Gray will one day laugh that much he will lose a crucial internal organ right out of one of his orifices.

Sadly this only encourages Cass, which is the reason I don’t let him behind the counter for more that 5 minutes at a time.

Just the other day, my mate got the 20 carts out of the shed, filled up the drink fridge, restocked the pie oven, changed a busted light globe, then went down to Graham at the Green Keepers shed, hooked up the ball picker upperer thingy, and picked up around six thousand balls off the driving range. After that he cleaned all the carts as they came in and put them back in the shed just in time for the 4.30 pm Yenda.

Nominate Your “Golf Club Volunteer of the Month”

I’m sure everyone reading this will know of someone who does something similar at their clubs. A person who will do whatever it takes to keep their favourite golf club alive. Not for recognition but for love of their club.

So from now on, why don’t we start recognizing what these Legends do by nominating them for “Club Volunteer of the Month” in ASG. Please email ASG (editor(at) with your nominations and if you could whack a photo in as well that’d be great.

Maybe even their favourite joke or saying as well. But unlike Cass, keep it clean, OK?        

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