Volunteers are back bone of any golf tournament

Valspar Championship relies on over 1,400 people to make it work

AdamHadwin in action at Valspar Championship.
Canadian golfer Adam Hadwin taking his shot in the practice round of the Valspar Championship 2018 on Tuesday. He is the defending champion. Swapnil Thakare

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Pete Mclaughlin has dedicated his life to golf.

And that’s a great advantage for the organizers of the Valspar Challenge PGA event, who need more than 1,400 volunteers just like him to make their event work.

Pete Mclaughlin at Valspar

Pete Mclaughlin, dedicated volunteer, at the practice round of the Valspar Championship. This is his 10th year here. (Swapnil Thakare)

Mclaughlin has been at the disposal of the tournament for a decade, since moving from his native Houston, Texas, to the Tampa area.

“I love the weather.” He said standing under the shades of tree near the 10th hole. “I love the golf and the horse-track down the road which brings me here”

This is the 18th season for Valspar and it has seen some dedicated fans. Bill Hamblet, a wine consultant comes every year since its start.

“It’s a fun week.” Hamblet said who was guiding the players through the ropes holding back the crowd said. “Its fun volunteering here and I am in this committee every year.”

The Valspar Championship has been one of the most colorful events in the sport. The practice round at the Innisbrook Golf Club on Tuesday saw volunteers from various professions.

Valspar was added to the PGA Tour in 2007 but was soon withdrawn and later rejoined in 2013.

This year is going to be special for Valspar; Tiger Woods will be playing. The number of spectators has increased dramatically. That has toughened the work for volunteers.

“There is a whole different spirit about the players,” a weary Jay Pearson who players to and from their hotel, the airport, and Innisbrook said. “This is the best field we have ever had since I have been here. There is different excitement (amongst fans) this year about the tournament.”

Pearson is an owner of a Marketing Research company.

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Posted: Mar 7 2018 10:29 am
Filed under: Golf Sports