The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

April 23, 2014

Moore goes full-circle in seasonal golf course job

After being a stay-at-home mother, Rita Moore accepted a seasonal job at Schifferdecker Municipal Golf Course.

The seasonal job led to a full-time job, and this week she is retiring as clubhouse operator at Schifferdecker.

“It’s like I’ve made a full circle,” she said Monday morning. “I started out seasonal. I am going to stay on as seasonal after I’m done. I can’t quite give it up. Now I’m going to stay home and take care of grandkids.”

A retirement party for Moore is scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday at the Schifferdecker clubhouse.

Moore also is going to spend more time with her parents. Her mother was injured in a fall, and that played a big role in escalating Moore’s retirement plans.

“I would have waited for a couple more years, but my mom fell and broke her shoulder,” Moore said. “My sister who has been taking care of my mom had knee replacement surgery. So I felt the need to quit and be available for her. With her being 91 and my dad 95, I want to be able to spend as much time with them as possible.”

Moore was introduced to golf when she lived near Goodman and played in couples events at the 9-hole Neosho Municipal Golf Course. Later she took group lessons from Ben Pell, former professional at Loma Linda Country Club (now Eagle Creek).

“I started playing golf before my kids were born, and they are 33 now,” she said. “The person who taught me made sure that we knew the golf course etiquette before we did anything else. We couldn’t play on Saturday or Sunday until we learned how to hit the ball.

“I just loved it. It was fun, fun, fun, fun, fun ... love it. It’s a great game.”

Her time for golf decreased while she raised children, but in 1990, she was hired for a seasonal job at Schifferdecker.

Reflecting on her memories at Schifferdecker, “I should write a book,” Moore said with a laugh. “The people out here are wonderful, and I’ve made wonderful friends, lifetime friends. It’s a good bunch of people I work with, a good bunch of golfers.

“Out here we get to know people. We know when the daughter-in-law is sick or when the mother is sick or when the son is sick. I’m not for sure that happens at all the other golf courses. We’ve become like family out here and know about everybody. I’ve been to a lot of funerals from people out here. I go visit a lot of people in the hospital. They become my family out here.”

There is also a love for the history associated with Schifferdecker.

“I know Schifferdecker’s place in the game of golf out here, and I love Schifferdecker,” Moore said. “I love the pictures of people sitting under the trees (behind the 18th green) for the Ozark Amateur. I love the history of Schifferdecker, and I love what it means to people. People care about Schifferdecker.”

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