The Barclays, the first Playoff event in the PGA Tour’s FedExCup, comes to Bethpage Black in 2012. It’s an exciting time for Long Island Golf. Gail W, an email subscriber, asked about volunteering for the event. I reached out to The Barclays Volunteer Coordinator, Bill Hansen, for all the details.
LIGN: How long have you worked with the PGA Tour?
BH: I started working with the PGA TOUR in January 2011 for The Barclays tournament held last year at Plainfield Country Club. After working for the accounting firm KPMG for nearly 10 years, I wanted to try and get into the golf industry. So I took a 4 month sabbatical from work and volunteered at four tournaments in the Tri-State area. Two of which were 2010 ShopRite LPGA Classic and The Barclays tournaments. I volunteered for 3 weeks at The Barclays, kept in touch with the Tournament staff, and 5 months later landed the Volunteer Coordinator internship for the 2011 Tournament. My foot was officially in the door in the golf industry!
LIGN: How many events to you coordinate during the season?
For the PGA TOUR I only coordinate The Barclays. The Volunteer Coordinator is a part-time position that is hired just by the local staff, so I only work the one event. However, this year, I am also working as the Tournament Coordinator for the ShopRite LPGA Classic near Atlantic City. The ShopRite is in late May and The Barclays in late August, so the timing is perfect where I can work both events. My goal is to get a full time job in the golf industry, so this year I’m doubling my chances!
LIGN: Are you full-time with the PGA Tour?
BH: As I stated, the job is not full-time, but a paid internship for the PGA TOUR. The job runs from January to August, so after last year I was lucky enough to stay in touch with the Tournament staff and they were willing to have me come back again as the Volunteer Coordinator this January. I couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity to work a tournament at Bethpage Black, so here I am. Working the two tournaments also helps with minor things like bills!
LIGN: What’s your favorite hole at Black?
BH: I’ve played golf all over the country, including several other U.S. Open courses, and throughout Ireland as well, and I can honestly say that I think Bethpage Black is the best golf course I’ve ever played. It’s amazing. I like several holes including 4, 8, 15 and 17, but I think my favorite is 16. I just love the view from the top of that tee box.
LIGN: How many volunteers will you need?
BH: We’ll likely need around 2,000 volunteers on approximately 25 different committees.
LIGN: How many do you have currently?
BH: We’re currently at 1,100 volunteers, so we just passed over the 1/2 way point.
LIGN: Are there any physical requirements?
BH: There are no real physical requirements. Some committees are more physically demanding than others, but committees like office administration and will call, where volunteers are inside and sitting, pretty much allow everyone to volunteer.
LIGN: What kind of jobs are available?
BH: We have plenty of jobs still available. For those who want to be outside we have plenty of committees, such as Hole Marshal, Admissions, Ambassadors (essentially information booth), Supply Distribution and SHOTLink (recording shot distances with a laser). For those who want to be inside, we have the aforementioned Will Call and Office Administration, but also Transportation, Media and Uniform Distribution.
LIGN: What kind of commitment does a volunteer need to make?
BH: The minimum time requirement for a volunteer is three 6-hour shifts, however, many of our volunteers take the whole week off and come every day to help out.
LIGN: How about the perks?
BH: The best perk of all is the front row seat you get on some committees! Especially Hole Marshal and SHOTLink. In addition, on days you don’t volunteer, your volunteer badge is good for free admission. Also, each volunteer gets an extra ticket each day (Tuesday through Sunday) that they can give away to friends. The package costs $65, but is worth over $300!
LIGN: Are most volunteers local? Do some travel?
BH: Most volunteers are local, however, we have a bunch from New Jersey and Westchester that have stayed with us throughout the years and travel with the tournament each year. We have a group from Canada and a couple from Texas that come every year. However, the farthest distance goes to someone from Australia who just contacted me and said they’d be in New York on vacation in August and want to volunteer. That is going to be pretty tough to beat!
LIGN: Where can I sign-up?
BH: Just head to our volunteer website: http://barclaysvolunteers.pgatourhq.com/