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By Steve Breazeale
Eric Lohman has the task of managing all the moving parts that make up the Monarch Beach Golf Links experience. As a former collegiate player at UCLA and a certified PGA Professional, Lohman has spent a lot of time out on the golf courses of southern California. That means he has seen some interesting things. We caught up with Lohman to talk a little golf.
Dana Point Times: As a General Manager, what is a typical day for you?
Eric Lohman: I get into the office around 7 a.m. First, I check in with my managers to see what they are working on. I review tee-sheet for the next week or so. Then I check all emails and voicemails and create a short check-list of some big picture items I need to work on. I might walk into the club house and speak to the staff, make sure everything looks good and is in good working order. Depending on the day, I will most likely read and respond to 200 or so emails … I might tour the golf course with my superintendent or host a staff meeting.
DPT: What is the best part about your job?
EL: Interacting with friends, partners, members, employees and those who simply love the game of golf.
DPT: As someone who works in the golf industry, what have you learned about the game, through your own experiences on the job?
EL: The game is incredibly easy to start, impossible to master and it can be expensive. For the most part, 95 percent of the people who play golf are great people, better than average I tell you.
DPT: What is the weirdest/most bizarre thing you’ve encountered out on a golf course?
EL: I’ve seen bears, bobcats, mountain lions, whales, dolphins, coyotes, elk, deer and even a Tiger, Tiger Woods that is. I have seen it all. I even saw an X-rated movie getting filmed in the backyard of an exclusive Los Angeles country club as well as the Playboy Mansion.
DPT: People leave things behind on the golf course all the time. What is the most out of place thing that you have found?
EL: I’ve found a Rolex, wedding ring, bong and an artificial limb.
DPT: Slow play has become a hot button topic in recreational golf. What do you think of the pace of play down in south Orange County?
EL: We are no different than anywhere else in the country. I know for a fact we are better than some areas such as Los Angeles and Seattle, where I have also worked. Our golfers have a little more experience.
DPT: How do you deal with slow players on your course?
EL: Education, supervision and consistent assistance.
DPT: What is the best foursome gambling game you’d recommend and why?
EL: Nothing beats a good ol’ game of skins or a partner’s best ball.
DPT: What advice would you give to the average golfing foursome to ensure that they have a good time out on Monarch Beach?
EL: Play fast, have realistic expectations and try the Bloody Mary.