PALM HARBOR, FLA. – Larry Odom and Maggie Parsons are only two of hundreds of dedicated volunteers who helped to make this year’s Valspar Championship run smoothly.
Volunteers could perform any number of jobs at the tournament including marshall, stand bearer, gate, driving range and shuttle driver.
Odom has been working this tournament for the last 10 years and he’s loved every minute of it.
“It’s just a fun thing to do especially if you live in the area … and you get to see the pros that you watch on TV.”
Bubba Watson is the player that he was most excited to see but all are interesting.
“It’s just fun to watch any of them because they’re true professionals in their field,” said Odom. “They really take it seriously and they go out and try and win the big bucks.”
The high point of Odom’s 10-year volunteering career was when he got to use the laser to track the distance of professional golfer John Daly’s shot.
“He hit it 335 yards one time and that was when the long yardages were just getting good,” Odom said.
Parsons and her husband David, who are first time volunteers, were surprised by how close everyone was.
“There’s a lot of volunteers here so it’s actually amazing to see how well it all comes together,” said Parsons.
After attending the 2016 event and seeing how the team worked together, Parsons decided to volunteer.
“We attended last year and we got talking to some of the volunteers and they looked like they were having a really great time,” said Parsons. “We thought it would be a great opportunity to see the inside workings of a tournament.”
A lot of the volunteers at this year’s event became involved because they share a love of the sport.
“I am a fan, not as avid as David, but I like to golf. I have been known to fall asleep on Sundays watching it,” Parsons said.
Both would jump at the chance to come back.
“It’s been a great experience,” said Parsons. “I would definitely volunteer again next year.