San Diego County is home to more than a dozen driving ranges where golfers go to practice. And every day something unusual unfolds. Something nearly everyone does but no one talks about.
At Stadium Golf it's the lunch hour and customers are satisfying a hunger. But like a tuna sandwich, it can go bad.
They're pursuing perfection. And every so often, another challenge comes along like a picker, as in ball picker upper.
Humberto Ortega rides the range three hours a day. It's a bouncy, noisy job and you can bet he's noticed something
"Yeah. They try to hit me sometimes," said Ortega.
"It's like one of those ducks that come across at the carnival," said instructor Lori Brock laughing. "Because our balls have such a hard time hitting a still target. We might have more chance if it's moving.
"He won't be hurt. I never aim for him if he's outside of the picker," said one golfer.
Talking to Ortega, his cage gets hit a lot. "Maybe a hundred times a day, you know," he said.
Every golfer at Stadium Golf confessed to taking shots. Except Jessica Haller, who picked up a club four months ago. Her reasoning isn't because she feels for the driver. "I don't think I have that much accuracy," Haller joked.
"It's a beautiful job. I love my job," Ortega said.
So while Ortega has his eyes on a littered lawn, golfers have their eyes on him.
Ortega not only works at a driving range but he also plays golf too. And he said sometimes, yes he too aims at the picker.