TEMECULA, Calif. — So, you say, you'd like to be your own boss and work outdoors every day? Boy, do we have a job for you! In this Zevely Zone, I took a journey to the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula.
Have you ever stood over a golf ball ready to your tee shot and said to yourself, "Alright, nice and smooth, follow through, don't kill it, just keep it in the fairway?" Only to hit the ball in the lake?
Your misfortune is creating a small fortune for Sean Broderick. "I'll just jump into my wetsuit," said Sean. We watched him show up to work, take a deep breath, and dive in.
Journey at Pechanga is a beautiful golf course, but things can get ugly on the fifth hole. I asked two golfers if they ever hit the ball in the lake? Both responded that they have many times. That's where professional diver Sean Broderick comes in; he makes a living turning bad shots into cash.
The only catch is some of the lakes he services are filled with, "Cell phones, bikes, skateboards, iPads," said Sean. "I find fishing poles, tons of fishing poles but one time a fishing pole had a live fish on it."
Sean says if you'd like to take a swing at his job, you'd better love cold water and mud. "You have to endure being in the dark completely, a lot of people can't handle that," said Sean who told he can't see anything down there. "Nothing. You have no idea where you are," said Sean.
All while hoping, he doesn't get beaned by a ball. "They put money on trying to hit me," said Sean about the golfers who pass by. "You'd be amazed the amount of guys saying 50 bucks, 100 bucks if you can hit the guy," said Sean.
I asked two golfers, Ben Masiel and Al Tuller if that was true. "That's true any time there is a target. Only if he pops his head up. When you see the bubbles, you know he's coming up," laughed Ben and Al who were both joking. They told me golfing isn't cheap and that golf balls cost a lot these days. "About $18 for a sleeve for three balls. If I had a diving suit I'd do it," laughed Ben and Al. To which Sean said, "I've always had the comment. If you can't hit the green, you're not going to hit me."
Journey at Pechanga is a par-72, links-style award-winning course designed by noted architects, Arthur Hills, and Steve Forrest. One of the premier public courses in Southern California, Journey features breathtaking views of the Temecula Wine Country. Golf Reservations can be made up to 7 days in advance. Tee times are available each day from 7AM – 2PM.
In case you're wondering, Sean is laughing all the way to the bank. He bags about a million balls a year and at ten cents a ball, that my friends is a six-figure salary. Sean grew up scrubbing the bottoms of boats. His strangest day on the job came when he was covered in seaweed and mistaken for a sea monster.
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