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My volunteering experience, 2008 Barclays

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I'll be at Liberty National next year. Likely Thurs-Sunday.. no full day Wednesday this time, probably half day. I don't know if it'll be a pro/am or just practice round.

It's a long day no matter what you do. Walking scorer usually goes first. The walking scorer is told to remain near the marshall at the tee, 50 yards behind the players on the hole, and near the exit lane on the green. So they do get a good view but not totally up close.

Walking scorer used a hand held palm pilot type device. I looked at it.. very easy to use. You just pick the player, where they are (trap, rough, green, etc), and once they hit you press the "hit ball" button. It looked fairly easy to use, so it takes some attention.

I am sure to pick an early hole to marshall, but one that requires a good hit from the players.. these holes usually get lots of spectators.. but not the par 3's as the spectators sit in the stands.. and then as the marshall you are standing all alone like a statue.

I've looked at the Liberty website, there is a nice overview of the holes. I've picked the ones I prefer. An early hole is first choice, so I can go over to 18 and marshall that the 2nd half of the day.

I've thought about walking scorer, but there really isn't too much down time, you always have to watch where you are walking, and need to be paying attention. Standard bearer is a possibility, but it's quite easy to get a noname player, and you are walking with 20 spectators watching someone play you don't really care to watch.

Marshalls tend to get the most respect and interaction with the fans. It's probably the only position where you don't get a 2-way radio.

For the best committee with little to do on course is the (player) evacuation committee. If the weather is nice, you don't drive anyone off the course, and you can walk around and watch the golf. If you want to be left alone, this is your best bet. I did it at Baltusrol in 2005 for the PGA Champ. It was boring so I helped out the marshall's on a few holes.

I think I'm sold on being a marshall. One other committee is on-course transportation. You get a headset/radio and you drive people from here to there... Liberty National hole #10 is far from the clubhouse, so on Thusday and Friday you would be driving players out to #10 and back from #9 (as half the field tees off from the back). You dont get a ton of golf to watch, but then again don't volunteer for all 4 days then.

One last thing... major mistake people do is work on thursday and friday and watch on saturday/sunday. While you do see the final holes on sunday, there's half the amount of players out there. If you want to see a lot of players and a lot of golf, watch the thursday/friday rounds. 144 guys means 48 groups of three. On Saturday it's top 72 and ties, so likely just 38 groups of two. It's much less golf.

Any other committees you which to know about?

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Fun time, isn't it? Couldn't do this weekend, but I've done the Sybase at Upper Montclair a couple of times. Go for the standard bearer job. Best one on the course. You get to follow a two- or threesome for the entire 18 holes, from pre shot routine to course management. Even if you aren't with big name players, it's a real education. And the standard bearer, unlike the walking scorer, doesn't have to think (though I usually help out on that as well).

My brother caddied in the Sybase for a local pro, he said it was an awesome. I might volunteer for the 09 U.S. Open at the Black, it might be fun.

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Thanks for posting your experience. I live in Colorado Springs as was thinking about volunteering for the US Senior Open at the Broadmoor this year but missed the opportunity to sign up. I am planning on volunteering for the US Women's Open which comes here in 2011.

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