Shoe Steward/Locker Room Manager Professionalism
Before explaining in detail how to use the products that have been recommended, you as a steward have to make a decision. You have to decide if you will take pride in your work or if you will, as is the case with most employees these days, just "Do enough to get by."
I'm going to jump up on my soap box-but only briefly(!)-and let you in on a little secret. My purpose in writing these books is not for the money. I won't be quitting my day job any time soon. The reason I wrote these books is to raise the skill level in the profession and have those people who do shoes at country clubs take pride in their work.
If you've been in this business for awhile, enjoy it and your members and guests love your work, keep it up! If you're just doing enough to get by or are brand new to the profession, I would encourage you to do the best work you can. When your members notice you're going the extra mile they'll tip you (if it's allowed) and let the club manager know you are an asset to the club. And hopefully that'll translate into a raise.
Sloppy or poor work also gets noticed, but you cannot expect good tips or a raise if you don't do your best.
I've heard of individuals that have decided to become shoe stewards and taking abuse from friends as a result. Apparently some people feel the job is a bit beneath them. I'll make one last comment and then jump down. It's not what job you do it's how you do it.
What it comes down to is this: if you want your work to reflect excellence, you would do well to follow the Ten Commandments of a Shoe Steward. If you'd like your shoe and locker rooms to have a mediocre or amateurish reputation, you'll allow your work to fall prey to the Telltale signs of an Amateur Shoe Steward. The choice is yours.
The Ten Commandments of a Shoe Steward
1. NO MATTER WHAT TYPE OF POLISH IS BEING APPLIED, IT SHOULD BE SPREAD IN A THIN COAT AND USED SPARINGLY. Shining a pair of shoes is similar to waxing a car. A thin coat of polish gets the best results and it takes less work. Ever try to remove wax from a car that was put on too thick? No fun! And neither is having polish come off on a member's clothing after you put too much on his shoes.
When I was still working at the Biltmore I had more than one customer from back east tell me how his steward took what looked like a paint brush out of a white bucket of polish and slapped it all over his white golf shoes. If this is anywhere near your practice you've broken this commandment big time. Do me a favor-knock it off! Follow my instructions for the care of white golf shoes in Chapter Seven, Putting the Products into Action instead.
Finally, if you should happen to be an independent contractor or have to pay for your polish-remember, if you use less, you spend less. That means you take home more $$$.
2. WHEN IN DOUBT ABOUT THE PROPER COLOR POLISH TO USE, USE THE LIGHTER SHADE. Seems obvious, but the author has seen experienced stewards at Tournament Players Clubs break this commandment. I played at a TPC course in southern Florida several years ago and they put dark brown polish on a pair of my red mahogany dress shoes. The result was a lot of streaking. Even light brown would have worked better and would not have streaked.
3. ON SHOES THAT ARE BRAND NEW, HAVE A "NATURAL FINISH" (RAW LEATHER WITH NO DYE APPLIED) OR WHERE NO POLISH MATCHES THE COLOR OF THE UPPER, USE LEATHER BALM OR A NEUTRAL POLISH. Actually, in most cases golf shoes only need saddle soap and nothing else for the first several rounds of their lives. However if I'm going to use a neutral, my first choice is leather balm (Zoe's Venetian Cream) because it works on everything from manmade golf shoes to Sperry Topsiders. You can use Meltonian Cream or Kiwi Neutral in a paste, but it tends to cloud the finish of most shoes. I knew a boot maker who used nothing but neutral polish on his customers' boots. Apparently a couple of his patrons got angry with him for using what they felt was the wrong color.
4. SHOES WITH A CREPE (SOFT SPONGY RUBBER MATERIAL) SOLE EDGES SHOULD BE SCRUBBED CLEAN. This is really the only way to get these sole edges clean, especially if they are white, light brown, or pink. Most shoe stewards will not even bother to scrub the sole edges of any shoe, let alone crepe. But if you want....