This say-to-say essay is based on a conversation with 26-year-old Cassie Holland cart girl at a golf course and TikTok Creator in Las Vegas. The following has been edited for length and clarity.
I grew up in Connecticut and trained as a waitress. When I moved to Las Vegas in 2018, I was a waitress at conventions and booth model gigs at trade shows – really anything I could do to stay here.
But then the pandemic hit, and I was obviously out of a job with the conventions closing. I was pretty desperate, and someone told me about that bartending gig on a golf course. I didn’t really know what that meant, but I needed a job, so I took it — and it changed my life.
I immediately fell in love with this job because in Vegas there is not much grass or wildlife. I arrived at the golf course and there were palm trees and small animals running around. It made me a super positive person.
About a year after working as a cart, I started putting videos on TikTok
My best friend was also unemployed and needed something to do, so I got her a job with me. She wanted me to dance TikToks with her. At first I said, “We’re at work, we can’t do this.” But she insisted because we were cute, so we started making them for her.
One day I thought I should start posting on my account too. I made a cart-girl video and it didn’t really get a lot of views. Then one of the golfers drove me nuts, so I made a little story time post. I didn’t even check my TikTok, but I went to Instagram and wondered, “Why are my Instagram followers increasing so much all of a sudden?”
I realized my TikTok video was going viral. I freaked out when I saw it hit 100,000 views because nothing like this had happened to me before. When it hit a million views, I thought, Wow, that’s crazy, I have to keep doing this. From there, I continued to make videos of my work every day.
I grew my TikTok to 1.8 million followers and 45 million likes, and now I’m getting lots of offers to work with brands
I don’t overdo it, because I want my videos to be more about me in the basket. The biggest brand I worked with was Abercrombie, although at first I was a bit skeptical about it and didn’t believe it. Why would Abercrombie want to work with me? But they tracked and it was legit, and it was pretty cool.
A lot of small golf businesses want to send me some of their apparel to promote, and I try to help out from time to time.
Tips are pretty good: I usually earn between $400 and $500 a day on top of my salary.
You get your $200 a day, and I even had a $60 day in the winter when it was really cold and we all left early. My best tip I ever got was $1000 from these four guys.
Usually I work about four days a week. But if someone needs me to replace them, I tend to say yes, because I try to work as much as possible.
When I started working for the course, I was paid minimum wage, which was around $9 an hour in Nevada. Once I started using TikTok, other courses offered me opportunities. The owner of the golf course I work at actually asked me if I wanted to be under contract, so I signed up and am now earning a salary.
There are guys who come to my class to see me or recognize me once they’re there, and they want pictures
I get asked a lot for selfies. Some days there will be a younger crowd, and they are the ones who always want pictures.
If it’s just my locals that I know and see every day, they usually don’t ask for photos. But the other day I was offering this guy a drink he wanted and I noticed he was taking a picture of me. I said, “Why don’t you ask for a picture? I could actually pose and it would be cute, not weird.”
I still hear people across the country asking me if I can come and work on their golf course. I haven’t taken any yet because this course has been very busy, but maybe one day it would be cool to try different courses everywhere.
Thanks to my TikTok, this May I had the opportunity to work as a cart at Electric Daisy Carnival, an electronic dance music festival in Vegas. It was really crazy and definitely a great experience.
On a typical day, I usually get up at 5:30 a.m. If we have tournaments early, I have to be up at 4:30.
I select a nice outfit and adapt it to the type of guy who is going to play that day. For example, the Las Vegas Raiders fan club came, so I wore black and silver that day. I definitely invest in my outfits and do things like tie-dye and add accessories to look different every day.
Then I usually start the morning by drinking an energy drink. I arrive at the course around 7 am, and I have to prepare the whole cart. This is the part of the job that sucks the most because it has to be filled with ice. You go back and forth with a big tray of shots and other heavy stuff to put in the cart. But you can’t really get mad if it’s the hardest part of your job.
I’ll make some coffee, put it on the cart and start driving. I do laps of the course depending on where people are, and I have to stop and restock the cart depending on what people have purchased. Also, since it’s so hot, I often have to go back for ice cream.
Sometimes, when it’s really hot, I sneak into the freezer for a little break. Then I’m off again, keep making rounds, and rehearse until about 2 p.m., or later if the golfers are still playing.
At the end of the day, I have to get all the snacks and shots out of the cart, wash it, and put the money I’ve earned from the sales in a money bag. I can keep the profits after the drink sales – these are the tips I go home with.
I try on different outfits to see which one gets the most tips
Sometimes I do a tomboy thing to see how it affects my tip, and I’ve tried different looks like a sportier girl or a more girly girl. I try to wear outfits that I have never worn before, which has become very difficult.
The skirt and polo look is the winner, however. I think some golfers are a little quirky and see a school girl thing, but most seem to like it because it’s not what people would wear otherwise. It’s different, and it plays into the character of the golfer.
I love my job, but obviously there are downsides
Once a guy asked for a photo to impress the guys back home. We were standing sideways and he put his hands on my ass for the photo. I yelled at him and told him not to show them that one. To be honest, I recover from that sort of thing pretty quickly. It’s boring and weird, but nothing too crazy.
The heat can be really harsh. Just yesterday it was 110 degrees, but at least it’s dry here. I don’t know how I would do that in the humidity. The cart gives you great protection from the sun, but I’m also quite tanned in there.
I want to inspire other girls to do it
It’s a great way to earn a lot of money, and you can start at a young age. It doesn’t take a lot of experience.
Working as a golf cart has completely changed my life. I wasn’t in a great place when I took this job, and now everything is different. After a year and a half of work, I saved my money and bought the best car possible.
For such a small job that most people don’t even know exists, I now drive a Tesla.
Do you work on a golf course and want to share your story? Email Lauryn Haas at firstname.lastname@example.org