To celebrate National Park and Recreation Month, the City of Victoria is spotlighting its Parks & Recreation employees who help make Victoria a great place to live, work and play.
When Head Golf Professional Rolando Hernandez tells people his job title, they often imagine that he spends his days out on the greens playing golf at Riverside Golf Course.
“People tell me, ‘Wow, that must be a great job,’ or they say, ‘How do you get into doing that?’” Hernandez said. “They think we play golf all day, 40 hours a week, and there’s more to it than that.”
While head golf professionals at some courses spend more time than others teaching golf or playing golf with club members, Hernandez’s role is largely managerial. As the only full-time club house employee at Riverside Golf Course, he’s tasked with managing the tee sheet, booking and hosting tournaments, overseeing all facets of inventory, submitting financial reports and otherwise managing the day-to-day functions of the golf course.
Hernandez has been able to get back to his love of teaching this summer as the golf course hosts its first-ever junior golf camps. During the three-day camps, Hernandez teaches kids between the ages of 6 and 15 the basics of the sport.
“It’s always fun to get out and teach, especially with the junior camp kids,” Hernandez said. “It’s nice to help them get better at something they like to do and to see their joy when they find a technique that works for them.”
Hernandez played golf competitively when he was growing up, and he originally thought he’d get into coaching or teaching. However, while he was earning his kinesiology degree at the University of Texas-San Antonio, he began working at The Quarry Golf Club and eventually became the head golf professional there.
“I realized that I enjoy the business side of golf,” he said. “I like the math, and I like getting to meet new people. Even here, we have our regular golfers, but I also see a lot of new faces.”
Another perk of his job is getting to spend time outside, he said.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Parks & Recreation professionals have played an important role in providing safe recreation options for people who, like Hernandez, don’t enjoy being stuck inside.
“It’s vital for us to keep our parks maintained and accessible for the community during the current situation,” he said. “One thing I like about Victoria’s parks is the amount of space, especially at Riverside Park. People can come here to meet with friends or family, people they haven’t seen in a while, and still maintain a safe distance.”
To play at Riverside Golf Course or to learn more about the junior golf camps, call the main office at 361-573-4521, or click here.