Working 'fore' 50 years

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Michael Cossaboom
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Morning dew clings to the grass as a lawn mower is fired up. The smell of gasoline quickly mixes with the crisp fresh air as a 50-year Shaw veteran climbs into the driver's seat. As he puts the mower into gear, the blades kick into full speed, cutting yards of grass in seconds to an eighth-of-an-inch in height providing ideal playing conditions for those about to tee off.

Thanks to one man's unwavering dedication, approximately 25,000 Team Shaw members who annually utilize Carolina Lakes Golf Course are provided with the opportunity to blow off steam, bond with co-workers, and to play competitively.

Robbie Robinson, 20th Force Support Squadron groundskeeper, has not only been dedicated to his job for the past 50 years but finds that cutting grass is therapeutic and feels he hasn't worked a day in his life.

"If you come to work every day and truly enjoy what you do and have fun doing it, then you know you have found what you were meant to do in life," said Robinson.

Robinson, a Wedgefield, South Carolina native, originally began working at Shaw in 1965, providing construction support for the course. Since then, he has assisted with lawn maintenance, course repairs, and ensuring the 150- acre course is kept in pristine condition for patrons.

"I love when my little girl and I can walk on a course and admire its beauty," said Chaplain (Maj.) Richard Holmes, 20th Fighter Wing deputy wing chaplain. "I often do think about all the work it takes to keep a course looking sharp.  It truly takes dedicated skilled individuals to make a course look as sharp as Carolina Lakes."

In 2014 there were more than 50 golf tournaments on the course, bringing together Airmen of all ranks not only for fun, but to boost morale.

"Just being able to come out here and provide the people with some freshly cut grass and to see the smiles on their face is what keeps me coming back every summer," said Robinson.

Robinson retired in 1997 from full time employment, but continues to work part time during summers to assist the staff during the peak golf season.

Robinson's dedication is clearly seen from his notable passion for life and true love of his work, said Holmes.

After working the same job for 50 years some could find that it may get repetitive and boring, but that's not the case for Robinson.

"What is so unique about Robbie is his incredible personality," said Kathrine Williams, 20th FSS Carolina Lakes golf course director. "You will never catch him without a smile on his face. His attitude is always positive and he truly enjoys his work."

After approximately four hours, all 18 greens are cut. The players have teed off and begun their journey through the course.