Golf marshals

Harry Miller stands on the fairway of the Hills of Cove Golf Course on Tuesday morning. Miller is a golf marshal who enforces the policies and rules of the course and helps maintain the cleanliness of the facility.

Marshaling is a job and a duty that most golfers take seriously, including Harry Miller, 75, who has watched over Copperas Cove’s golf course for several years.

Miller starts each day protecting the greens of the Hills of Cove Golf Course by grabbing a gold cart and loading up sand to repair divots players may have left on the course.

“Sometimes they repair it, and sometimes they don’t,” he said.

Miller is one of about 14 people who currently volunteer to be marshals.

“They are policing the golf course and monitoring the course rules,” said Davis Dewald, head golf professional. “They make sure everybody is following the rules and maintaining the pace of play.”

Miller, a resident of Copperas Cove since 1979 and a 1984 Army retiree, had several other jobs with Central Texas College and on Fort Hood after his military career. But the thought of doing something for his community led to be a golf marshal.

“I don’t mind volunteering on the golf course to help do what needs to be done to make it run efficiently,” Miller said.

For four hours every week, Miller strolls up and down the cart paths performing housekeeping duties.

“I also go around and clean up the trash, and make sure there is water in the ball washing machines as well as water in the drinking sheds,” he said. “Primarily, we make sure the golfers follow the rules and use the 90 degree rule.”

The 90-degree rule means golfers drive their carts off the cart path towards their ball, and immediately turn back and drive the same way towards the cart path after their stroke, he said.

The time he spends regulating the course also give’s Miller the chance to catch up with old friends.

“I pass the time with them,” he said. “But not much, because I don’t want to interfere with their game. If I find out they are at the next hole down there doing something wrong, then I’ve got to go straighten that up.”

As the course enforcer, Miller does get something in return — free playing time.

“It gives you an opportunity to go out and enjoy the fresh air,” he said. “You also get an opportunity to play golf, which I don’t play much, but once in a while I do play.”

Besides golfers, Miller said the course has 15 geese and several deer that stroll around the golf course. But the animals don’t give him or the players any trouble.

“(The marshals) are beneficial because they keep everybody in check, make sure people are not destroying the golf course and damaging stuff,” Dewald said.

Miller said as long as he is in good health, his spirit and body are ready and willing to continue the volunteer service he provides on the course.

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