I know. You are thinking you would rather watch the grass grow – which mine has been doing in leaps and bounds. Better yet, I’m talking men over 50 playing golf. Still with me. I’m really not going to talk a lot about golf but that is the initial reason to start writing. What I really want to talk about is community and volunteering. Last week in my area, that meant golf.
While they say it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a much larger community to put on a world-class golf tournament. The people that are seen on TV, the employees, the directors, they are all important people. Tournaments would not be what they are without these people but without the thousands of volunteers, the man about town here to watch golf would find a pretty dysfunctional tournament.
I have been to this particular golf tournament previously. It was previously on the PGA Tour as the BC Open. Until it became a Champions Tour stop, it never had a title sponsor. I have never figured out how many people it takes to run something like this. Now I have a better idea.
I volunteered at the front gate or admissions. While the early days – practice rounds, Pro-Ams – were anything but brisk, the first round ended with a huge concert and that day the gate saw over 20,000 people. Tickets needed to be hand torn. No scanning tickets at this event. Top that with tickets that were purchased online or through TicketMaster needed to be converted. The constant bus traffic – what little parking there is at the golf course was reserved for the pros – brought golf fans and Tim McGraw fans from parking lots in the vicinity in huge chunks so the gate would be overwhelmed and then a break. 11 of us worked the busiest part of this day. Generally, there were six people working the gate.
Other volunteers were doing concessions. I looked at the lines at some concession areas at times and wondered how they would have enough food for all these people. They would do everything from taking orders to cooking food to running to fill orders. The lines, for the amount of people and the fact many working on the other side of the counter do not work in food service for a profession, moved rather quickly. I am sure, at least on Friday, there was little down time in this area.
Other volunteers would work in parking, clean-up – which would be huge as the Tim McGraw concert was around the 18th green and it needed to be playable Saturday morning, roping – which takes place before the tournament starts, will call – separate from the front gate, marshalls, standard bearers and more. Over 1500, my estimate is probably closer to 2000, people make this tournament work.
My reason for sharing all this? Get out there and get involved! Volunteer! Find a cause locally and see what they need people to do.
Do you volunteer? What makes you take time for an organization?