I'm a 'cart girl' on a golf course. I make good money and the tips are steady, but customers can get handsy.

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I'm a 'cart girl' on a golf course. I make good money and the tips are steady, but customers can get handsy.
Ellie Dressler.

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  • Ellie Dressler, 20, works as a "cart girl" serving drinks at a golf course.
  • She's grown her TikTok audience to over 35,000 followers by sharing her job experience.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Ellie Dressler, a 20-year-old "cart girl" at a golf course. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Being a "cart girl" is having a moment on TikTok. We're all over the app — young women who make their living driving a bar cart around a golf course and serving the golfers beverages.

On TikTok, it looks like silly, fun, easy, and lucrative work. Sometimes it is — but there's more that goes into it.

This is my first summer as a cart girl

When I was looking for a position, I talked to eight golf courses that were fully staffed, and they said there had been an increase in applications because of TikTok. I had no idea it was that big a deal. I just thought I'd be good at it.

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I finally got a job at a golf course. I usually work shifts that last four to six hours. When I get to work, I stock the cart with everything I'll need, like soda, beer, shooters, and ice. Then I drive around the golf course all day and serve people drinks. I've figured out the best way to approach customers is to say: "What can I get you to drink?" I do that instead of saying what I've heard other cart girls say, which is: "Are you all set?" People often just say, "Yes, we're good," if you leave it at that.

Every time I've tested that, I sell more. It's a pretty basic job. All you need to do is be bubbly and fun.

I always say I'm like an adult ice-cream truck

Of course, patrons can be creepy sometimes. I've started doing a series on TikTok called "Ridiculous But True Stories of a Golf Cart Girl." Sometimes it's little stuff like asking me for a beer called a "Sip of Sunshine" and then telling me I'm the sip of sunshine. That's pretty harmless.

Then I've had situations that aren't so harmless, like when men comment on my clothes or body parts, whistle at me, or even try to touch me. There was once a man who grabbed me — but he made a mistake because I'm trained in MMA.

I dislocated his thumb, and he said he was going to tell my boss. I told him to go ahead. I always try to keep the cart between myself and someone who's pushing the boundaries.

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Being a golf-cart girl is the perfect job for me

I go to school full time during the year and don't work while I'm in classes so that I can focus. Because of that, I have to make all the money I need for my car and insurance during the summer. I basically save all my summer money for what I need for the school year.

Being a golf-cart girl earns me the most money I've ever made during the summer. At my course, we make a base rate of $16 an hour plus tips. The tips can fluctuate from day-to-day, but they're steadily very good. On TikTok, you see cart girls making thousands of dollars a day, and that's not realistic for most of us. I can see that being the case only if you work at a course in Miami or Scottsdale.

I make good money and I have fun

I've been able to grow my TikTok following to more than 35,000 through sharing my cart-girl adventures. I even recently got my first paid ad, which was really cool. I've always been entrepreneurial, and TikTok is another way of doing that.

Because my course has only one cart girl at a time, I'm often by myself during the day, so it's nice to have TikTok posts to make. I have to entertain myself a lot of the time as I'm waiting for more golfers to start.

It's been a great summer, and I'm looking forward to having enough money to put away for the school year. And I even have a little extra — I'm about to go on a trip with my best friend. Not bad for a cart girl.

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