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Have you volunteered at a PGA event and if so would you recommend it?


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I have a chance to serve at a PGA event and am curious as to the experience of any members that have done so in the past.

I worked for 4 years as a hole marshal at The International at Castle Pines. The tournament lost it's lead sponsor and the PGA Tour dumped it off the schedule. It's a great experience, at least the job I had was. Being inside the ropes and getting to see all the action on your hole close up... sometimes even being involved when the play comes your way. The players will sometimes ask you to point out where a ball crossed into a hazard (there's a tiny creek up the left side of the 17th hole where I worked)... not the high point of their round, but still good to feel like you have some function more than just crowd control.

I even got into a couple of quick shots on TV when the action was in my area on the hole.
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I have worked the grounds crew at a few, and nothing is better then that. You get to be out on the course before anyone, and you are the one that is responcible for the way the course plays that day. Along with that you get the day off and get to watch golf, and on sun you get to be on the green with the winners. It is the best job during a tournament.
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Volunteering at a PGA Tour or LPGA event can be extremely tiring but fulfilling at the same time. Tournaments can not operate without volunteers, there'd be no way to marshal the course or get players from place to place. Depending on what event you're volunteering at, they may make you pay for your uniform and even check your driving record, if your going to be in the transportation department. I'll briefly run through the major areas volunteers are needed, hopefully this will help you with your decision:

Off Course Transportation: These volunteers assist with picking professionals up from the airport and take them to the tournament course or host resort. During the tournament play, i.e, Wed-Sun, they assist with the evacuation plan, in the event of inclement weather. Some tournaments, these volunteers act as shuttles between different areas.

On Course Transportation: Some courses have difficult terrain which requires volunteers to drive players and their caddies from green to hole, or from 9 green to 10 tee.

Marshals: These volunteers primary role is to keep the spectators quiet during tournament play. There are hole captains that oversee all the volunteers for each old or grouping of holes as well. One thing to remember is if you get assigned a front nine hole, for example holes 1-4, you'll be there very early in the morning as first tee time on a Thursday or Friday is usually 7:30AM. However you finish earlier and you get the rest of the day to watch golf.

Scoring: The PGA Tour and LPGA use electronic hand-held scoring systems and there is a walking scorer for each group. Usually these volunteers are vets. The PGA Tour also has laser operators that stand in little towers in fairways and greens and they shoot lasers at the ball to judge distance from where he struck the ball, to where it lands. It's all computed and the info goes back to the Shotlink Truck where the information is spat back to all the ShotLink scoring computers

Television: if you're lucky enough to be a TV Spotter, that's the most cush job of all. You drive the TV comentators from hole to hole or to their respective camera tower and hang out all day. These are usually kept by veteran volunteers as well.

There a number of other volunteers that falls into the Charity Volunteer section but I won't go into that. The perks of being a volunteer range in the swag they give you, the food, watching golf. Some places give you a round of golf on another course, some tournament throw parties for their volunteers.

I hope this helps!
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Since your from Seattle I'm assuming your talking about The Boeing Classic? Or the senior event at Sahalee?

I've worked the boeing classic running shuttle cars around for players. It was fun LOL
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(This is his girlfriend, btw).

I've volunteered at LPGA tournaments for the past 5-6 years. I have either marshalled, carried the score signs with the players, and have done the manual leader board. I thought it was pretty fun, and if you're lucky, you may get to meet some of the players.

- Christine

EDIT: I have done electronic scoring before, where the caddy for the player gives you the slip for the score on that hole. VERY relaxing... especially if you get to sit under a tree. Most of it's all digital and you just have to send it out to the main leader board.
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Volunteered twice at the Viking tourney in Jackson. My last time, I ran the fairway ShotLink on the 17th hole. I was on the ground, not in the tower, so it was a blast. I also did crowd control around the green - hold up the "Hush, Y'all" sign during the putt.

In terms of swag, we got a free Viking tournament shirt (made by Ping - high quality, probably a $70 list price shirt). Also get big discounts on other clothing - hats, windshirts, etc.

Last year after the last group came through 17, I walked over to 18 to watch Will McKenzie win in "double-overtime."

I recommend volunteering at least once. It's a blast.
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Years back, I volunteered at the Travelers Championship (Greater Hartford Open). I marshalled a hole and measured drives for official PGA stats. I also got to meet Phil Mickelson, Joey Sindelar, and Nick Price. It was an enjoyable experience.
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I have volunteered at Nationwide tour events for 5 years. I always do the "Walking Scoring" which basically allows you to follow a group and keep score of each player. You have to cary a palm devise and input each swing. I liked it because you could follow the group inside the ropes. Depending on the player, you can chat and visit with them during the round.

You have to be wiling to walk 18 holes and keep up, but for me, that was the fun part. I would rather walk and watch 1 group than stay stationary.

Regardless of what you end up doing, it is a fun atmosphere and a lot of fun.
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Look up Tim Finchem's salary, and then consider if you want to work for free to support it...

Who really cares what he makes??? Besides you, that is...

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Since your from Seattle I'm assuming your talking about The Boeing Classic? Or the senior event at Sahalee?

I can always volunteer at the Boeing Classic since I work at Boeing but I was referring to the Sahalle event though. Might be fun...

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I was also thinking of volunteering for the Rex Open (Nationwide Tour) in Raleigh and/or the SAS Championship (Champions Tour) in Cary. I am still new to golf, but figured this may be a good chance to get up close and see some professionals play (and see just how bad I suck ). Thanks for all the info guys!

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I was also thinking of volunteering for the Rex Open (Nationwide Tour) in Raleigh and/or the SAS Championship (Champions Tour) in Cary. I am still new to golf, but figured this may be a good chance to get up close and see some professionals play (and see just how bad I suck

oh man... its humbling watching pro's play

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Well, it could be fun, you'll have the chance to meat alot of people, and you'll see the best players in the world(depending on what event it is), so i say you go for it! :) I think it would be a great chance to meat the pros.
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  • 5 years later...

Hi,

I am sorry to reply to such an old thread, but wanted to ask some thoughts of you guys in here.

I will be volunteering (for the first time. Ever. ) at the CIMB Classic in KLGCC here in KL, Malaysia later this month. Hole Captain (3 &12) - whatever that means ! :D

Just wanted to ask what on earth does a hole captain do, and any other pointers will be greatly appreciated

Cheers

Ray

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Note: This thread is 2477 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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