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Local pair leads volunteer efforts at JDC cart barn

An unlikely duo leads the volunteer efforts to care for golf carts at the John Deere Classic with over 50 combined years of experience.

SILVIS, Ill. — For all of the beauty and prestige of the course out at TPC Deere Run, it can be quite the workout to walk through. That's where most of us might opt for a cart. 

But the secret behind making sure the course's 170 carts are all washed, scrubbed, dried, charged and accounted for is the most unlikely duo. 

The cart barn sits at the bottom of a hill, tucked away from the action of the golfers. But down below, there's been one man leading the charge for 37 years: Steven “Arkie” Lovell. And for the past 18 years, Susie Archer has been right beside him. 

The two have teamed up like a family with the other volunteers.

"It's like any family," said Arkie. "There's always a little dysfunctionality in the family. But at the end of the day... you got to let it go." 

Arkie and Susie are so close, Arkie's wife has temporarily bestowed her title onto Susie. 

"She's my second wife this week. And that's - you know who told me that? My wife told me that," said Arkie.

"Usually it's him yelling at me, or the other way around," said Susie with a laugh. 

These carts have to be ready for anything. Rides, hydration drop-offs, equipment toting, and anything else that pops up.  

"Taking people where they need to go, picking them up if they need it, going to picking up carts. Whatever people need, they usually call the cart barn!" said Susie.

Each night after tournament play, the crew has to collect all the carts that are left around the course.  

In fact, there's so much to be done that Arkie spends tournament time living in a camper on the course. 

After decades of hard work, Arkie's looking toward retirement, but is planning to log all of his duties so cart care can be properly passed on. 

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