This weekend, I had the chance to volunteer at the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship held here in San Antonio at Briggs Ranch Golf Club. I have to complete 45 hours of volunteer service to fulfill my degree requirements, so I thought why not get 12 hours out of the way volunteering doing something involved with the game of golf!
But after spending the last two days out at Briggs Ranch as a forecaddie, I think I might have found much more than getting 12 hours of volunteer work towards my degree – I think I might have found a new passion to get involved with amateur golf around the San Antonio and South Texas area. I met some really nice people and had a blast being out there.
As a forecaddie, it was my job to position myself in the landing area of an assigned hole and watch the tee shots of players and track their golf ball. If they hit it in the rough or the “bad country,” then I would place a little red flag next to their ball until they are able to walk to their tee shots. The ladies playing in the Mid-Amateur Championship are good players, so to be honest I really didn’t have much action both days since 75% of them piped it down the middle of the fairway.
When I got home today, I started doing some research on how to become more involved with officiating and becoming more involved than just an “everyday volunteer.” Now don’t get me wrong, the “everyday volunteer” is an integral part of tournament operations. Just go ask the leadership of your local PGA Tour stop and they will tell you the tournament will never happen without volunteers. What I am talking about when I refer to doing more within a tournament is becoming more involved with the actual operations. Things like working the scoring tent, course setup, starting times and even becoming a rules official. While these are all volunteer tasks as well, it’s more involved with actual tournament operations.
When I got home what I found was very exciting. A local group of golf enthusiasts, called the San Antonio Rules of Golf Group is very involved in helping out with rules and tournament setup here in the San Antonio area. It takes on almost 80 days of golf each year, including San Antonio Amateur events, local USGA events, NCAA events and junior golf events. All these tournaments need rules officials, tournament scorers and course setup officials. I was able to track down the email of a member who recruits new volunteers and I have already sent him an introduction. I am excited about this opportunity and think it will be a great way to help out with a game I love so much.
In closing, if you have a chance to get out and volunteer at a local event, I truly recommend it. I had a lot of fun. On top of that, the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur had a great breakfast and lunch spread for volunteers. I also get to play Briggs Ranch Golf Club, one of the most exclusive private golf clubs in San Antonio. So get out and volunteer!