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kassper7
My LPGA LA Open experience
GK Event: Played in a GK Event GK Cup: Past & Current Champions of The GK Cup

Member Since:
    January 30, 2015


Favorite Golfer:
    Michelle Wie, Ricky
Favorite Golf Course:
    Oak Quarry


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Friday April 13, 2018 10:41 AM
I've volunteered for the first time to work at a professional event to see what it's like - I thought I'd share my experience as it happens. This event being at the Wilshire Country Club was part of the draw - relatively close and a course I'd be interested to see first hand. Since most of the jobs had a lot of unknowns involved in them - I chose to be a standard bearer because I'd get to walk the course and maybe feel like part of the action.

If anyone can prepare me for what to expect and stories from their volunteering experience - much appreciation.

They don't give you a lot of info when you sign up and I'm guessing this is partly on purpose and partly because this is all happening on the fly. You have to commit 45 bucks of your money for your uniform up front as well.

While I did get the assigment I asked for - I didn't get the morning shift on Friday I asked for and they didn't even bother to use me on Thursday. I guess weekday mornings are the most signed up for. Was hoping for Thursday, Friday, Saturday but got Friday, Saturday, Sunday. No surprise that I got mornings on the weekend because these are the players that probably won't be on TV.

These are all minor and expected things - where I start to regret signing up a bit - it is in the other e-mail I just received.

1) They want me to drive to a college in the middle of LA on Sunday to take a 1 hour orientation smack dab in the middle of the day. This involves a minimum of 1 hour of driving plus parking, finding the room, blah blah, and making a large dent in a Sunday for just 1 hour of instruction (that must equate to like 20 minutes of content). Just send me a link to a god d%mn video and lets be done with it. How interactive does this need to be? Anyway - it's optional so I'm not doing it - I had plans on Sunday - so hopefully they will let me know what I missed after this weekend.

2) Parking - You forget that you don't get to actually go the the course to see or be part of the event. The shuttle parking lot is at the Hollywood Bowl. This is way worse - especially for me. It could add an hour to my roundtrip commute - that part of LA is a traffic nightmare. So I'm considering not using it and looking for other places to park or ways to get to the event.

BTW - Is the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open the least catchy name of a tournament ever? It might win the highest Scrabble score but it's got zero visual/audio personality as a name.

updates as they happen and I have time to write about them
REPLY
 Message #87850
SCGolf
RE: My LPGA LA Open experience

Member Since:
    April 29, 2005


Favorite Golfer:
    Angelo Erikson
Favorite Golf Course:
    Southern Hills


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Friday April 13, 2018 1:49 PM
If you'll allow yourself to have a great time, you will. I'm on the grounds crew at a few local stadiums. We're not paid too much but, having a field pass to all events is priceless. Better than courtside seats at Staples Center - and y'all should know what the pricetag those tickets bring. Being inside the ropes, you'll have (I hope) a similar experience.

How do I know? Back eons ago when I was raising my son, I ran a fairly sizable Junior Golf Program. The Tournament Committee at LPGA-Oakmont (Glendale, CA) needed Standard Bearers and asked if my Juniors (of any age) would be interested in volunteering. Younger would walk 6, 9 or 18 holes. They could also work as a team. Older Juniors would walk 18 holes. Provided 34 Juniors to 'volunteer.' One, Standard Bearer Committee member also served in the same capacity at PGA-Riviera. We were offered 4 positions at that event. Our second year, I provided 14 standard bearers. Jokingly, as we lined up Thursday morning for our assignments, I told everybody 'dont even think about 6:44(Tiger). That's mine' Sure as heck, I had Tiger's group (my second year). Tiger gave me a Titleist Tiger imprinted ball (before he signed with NIKE).

As a standard bearer, you should be walking behind your players. My first year, I was recruited to fill in because of a shortage of SB's. Starting on 10 with Calc and Tommy Armour III. "III" I knew working with O'Grady and Calc's caddie (Tommy Anderson/TA) from SanGabriel CC. Group was not in contention and we had interesting conversations on our front nine. Our juniors were comp'd 200 tickets to Riv and walking up 18, the crowd started chanting my name. Players was wondering what was going on and I told them... the players insisted I lead the group onto the 18th green

I've also made friends with Bob Vokey, Roger Cleveland... John Daly was amazed that I stayed dry one year when Riv played in crazy rain. Kept their names dry and flying high (even though there was nobody out on the golf course). JD sent me his umbrella later in the year and a great thank you note. Numerous other stories but, you get the idea.

As far as uniforms... they should be good for 3-4 years. As long as you keep them in good shape, you should be able to use them next year. Sure, the Tournament Committee could've gone the cheap route but, in the long run, it's the best solution.

Parking... it's your choice where you park. I know Marlborough School down the street. There's NO parking in Hancock Park. Of the 1000's of volunteers, do you really expect the TC to provide parking? Volunteer parking at Riv used to be at the VA complex. It's now in Santa Monica. It's not outta the norm. Parking at PGA-Torrey is offsite (:25-1:00 (in SD traffic)).

In any situation were we're asked to slot the best available in the best position. We ask ourselves, who's made the most compelling arguments. Take the guys that've been available for all shifts (maybe worked a double (2-18 hole am/pm wave). Gone to the class(es). Mentored newbies. Helped in the 'clubhouse' and have been around for a number of years (seasoned). vs the newbie that doesn't want to go to class, complains, etc. Who receives priority. Who deserves the prime slots. If you show you're responsible, you'll be moved up. Sunday's line-up isn't made until Saturday. The assigner might ask if you're available for a late tee time but, you'll have to earn it.

FIGHT ON!!!

BTW Looks like a local product Melissa Martin (Altadena/Altadena CC/Flintridge Prep/UCLA/former Ladies British Open Champion) making some noise at Wilshire. Hope you have a chance to cheer her on. She's the little train that could

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/golf/sdut-lpga-mo-martin-grandfather-2013mar25-story.html
REPLY
 Message #87851 - This was a reply to message #87850
Nickesquire
RE: My LPGA LA Open experience
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    August 11, 2007


Favorite Golfer:
    Jack, Freddie, Tiger
Favorite Golf Course:
    Maderas Olivas Sherwood


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Friday April 13, 2018 2:03 PM
Sounds pretty standard with my experiences when volunteering for both the PGA and PGA Sr. Tour events Perry.

The price for the uniform doesn't sound bad, but depends on what it includes. The events I volunteered for have always included a shirt/hat/windbreaker for a comparable price. You are expected to supply your own pants in a predetermined color. Good news is that if you volunteer again next year, assuming they have not changed sponsors, you may already be covered for your uniform.

The orientation usually coincides with picking up your uniform. And yes, it is often inconvenient when you factor in the mid day time, traffic to/from, parking etc. Often blows most of the day to where you have little time before or after to do anything else meaningful that day.

Event parking for Riviera is similar to what you describe. From my direction it involves driving farther out of the way and being shuttled back the direction I just came through traffic to get to the course. I found an alternative rather than use their shuttle.

Some volunteer positions you get to see all 18 holes: IMO, walking scorer is the best volunteer job. Like the standard bearer, you will walk all 18 holes with your assigned group. I would rather carry a handheld electronic device tracking all shots rather than a heavy sign tracking how many over/under.

Some volunteer positions you are going to be location specific: I have also volunteered for shot link, tracking all drives on a certain hole. It was fun. Also was assigned to work on posting scores on the leader board at a specific spot. Not as fun. Marshall's are usually assigned to a specific spot. No interest in that, or in some of the other "non golf" volunteer positions.

You will probably be counseled on where NOT to walk and who NOT to talk to as part of your orientation. The Sr. Tour event was more relaxed overall that the PGA event. However, I would be prepared for the players to only interact with their caddie and their fellow competitors until the round is completed. They usually only interact with the volunteers if there is a problem, like needing a rules official or wanting you to be still or move from their line of sight. Most were good if you were 15-20' away if you were still/quiet. One guy preferred everyone more like 60' away. They will let you know their expectations early in the round.

A few pro's were chatty after the round was completed, but they were the exception. Only a couple made conversation while the round was ongoing.
REPLY
The goal is long and straight! But on the many times I cannot seem to hit them straight, I at least want to hit them long!
 Message #87852 - This was a reply to message #87850
hammer74
RE: My LPGA LA Open experience
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    September 9, 2007


Favorite Golfer:
    couples
Favorite Golf Course:
    Pebble, Pelican


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Friday April 13, 2018 4:30 PM
I had thought about volunteering but the location (and parking) would have been horrific in terms of logistics and traffic. As you probably are aware (now) - this is a residential area and streets are narrow and public parking is non-existent.

The times that I have played here, they have very limited parking so when they announced LPGA event, i was thinking - 'oh boy'


My kids were asked if they wanted to be standard bearers but giving the circumstances, we had to pass.

The good thing is the course is easy to walk so that is a plus for you. As standard bearer, your 'work' should be pretty 'easy' as long as you can walk 18 holes, you should be fine.

Good luck and hope you have fun.



[[Edited by hammer74 on Friday April 13, 2018 4:37 PM]]
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 Message #87854 - This was a reply to message #87850
hammer74
RE: My LPGA LA Open experience
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    September 9, 2007


Favorite Golfer:
    couples
Favorite Golf Course:
    Pebble, Pelican


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Friday April 13, 2018 4:38 PM
QUOTED  Our juniors were comp'd 200 tickets to Riv and walking up 18, the crowd started chanting my name. Players was wondering what was going on and I told them... the players insisted I lead the group onto the 18th green




Pretty cool! did u tape it??
REPLY
 Message #87855 - This was a reply to message #87851
michaelko
RE: My LPGA LA Open experience
NorCal Community Staff

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    October 1, 2003


Favorite Golfer:
    N/A
Favorite Golf Course:
    N/A


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Friday April 13, 2018 5:01 PM
I've done standard bearer for 3 yrs at Riviera, 1 yr at an now defunct LPGA event in the Bay, and the last 2 yrs at the Safeway Open in Napa.

They all have the orientation. I go just to pick up my uniform, though all of them I could've picked it up day of.

they all have far away parking. Unless you know someone that will let you park on their property, I don't think you have a choice. They shuttle you in, so I don't know how you park close enough near the course that isn't blocked off, and not have to walk miles. At Wilshire, my guess is all of the street parking will either be sign restricted or reserved or blocked off.

I'm surprised they didn't give you a Thursday assignment: More groups on Th-Fr.

Out of the 3 experiences, the Safeway Open is the best. The first 2 ask you to report 5am, and assignments are first come first served... so if you have an afternoon slot, you have many hours to kill, from 5am. Safeway, they assign you a time well ahead of when the tee times are released. So you know when you are going to work, and can plan accordingly. Then who is in your group is totally random, so it's a fairer process. So it's fairer and more convenient. The volunteer fee is always worth it, as you get passes, gear, and lunch. But Safeway is no fee volunteer! The LPGA one, at Blackhawk CC, they had a volunteer play day 3 months after the tournament, for free, so that was cool.

They will give you a signed ball after the round, so hang out by the scorecard area if you are into that.

End of the day, you don't have to do it. It's volunteer. Just back out early. But it's a lot of fun, and the opportunity to see pro golf inside the ropes, as if you were playing aside them (as opposed to watching groups come through) is priceless to me. Bonus if it's a high profile name. The best I've walked with were: Kevin Na, Smylie Kaufman, one group in front of Phil Mickelson, Charley Hoffman 15 years ago when he had a mullet, Christina Kim. Just plan for a long day.
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 Message #87856 - This was a reply to message #87852
michaelko
RE: My LPGA LA Open experience
NorCal Community Staff

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    October 1, 2003


Favorite Golfer:
    N/A
Favorite Golf Course:
    N/A


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Friday April 13, 2018 5:01 PM
I've done standard bearer for 3 yrs at Riviera, 1 yr at an now defunct LPGA event in the Bay, and the last 2 yrs at the Safeway Open in Napa.

They all have the orientation. I go just to pick up my uniform, though all of them I could've picked it up day of.

they all have far away parking. Unless you know someone that will let you park on their property, I don't think you have a choice. They shuttle you in, so I don't know how you park close enough near the course that isn't blocked off, and not have to walk miles. At Wilshire, my guess is all of the street parking will either be sign restricted or reserved or blocked off.

I'm surprised they didn't give you a Thursday assignment: More groups on Th-Fr.

Out of the 3 experiences, the Safeway Open is the best. The first 2 ask you to report 5am, and assignments are first come first served... so if you have an afternoon slot, you have many hours to kill, from 5am. Safeway, they assign you a time well ahead of when the tee times are released. So you know when you are going to work, and can plan accordingly. Then who is in your group is totally random, so it's a fairer process. So it's fairer and more convenient. The volunteer fee is always worth it, as you get passes, gear, and lunch. But Safeway is no fee volunteer! The LPGA one, at Blackhawk CC, they had a volunteer play day 3 months after the tournament, for free, so that was cool.

They will give you a signed ball after the round, so hang out by the scorecard area if you are into that.

End of the day, you don't have to do it. It's volunteer. Just back out early. But it's a lot of fun, and the opportunity to see pro golf inside the ropes, as if you were playing aside them (as opposed to watching groups come through) is priceless to me. Bonus if it's a high profile name. The best I've walked with were: Kevin Na, Smylie Kaufman, one group in front of Phil Mickelson, Charley Hoffman 15 years ago when he had a mullet, Christina Kim. Just plan for a long day.
REPLY
 Message #87857 - This was a reply to message #87852
kassper7
RE: My LPGA LA Open experience
GK Event: Played in a GK Event GK Cup: Past & Current Champions of The GK Cup

Member Since:
    January 30, 2015


Favorite Golfer:
    Michelle Wie, Ricky
Favorite Golf Course:
    Oak Quarry


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Tuesday April 17, 2018 12:31 PM
UPDATE #1

Didn't attend training and haven't heard anything about it but I did run by Wilshire CC and pick up my lovely blue shirt and attractive white cap. I need to by an extra pair of Khaki shorts since I only have one and Khaki is the dress code for us worker bee's. I did try and be a good boy and offer myself up for extra shifts that were requested of me - so I have an additional shift in scoring control on Saturday.

My packet also included 2 passes (single day) to the event if anyone would like one.
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 Message #87895 - This was a reply to message #87850
hammer74
RE: My LPGA LA Open experience
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    September 9, 2007


Favorite Golfer:
    couples
Favorite Golf Course:
    Pebble, Pelican


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Thursday April 19, 2018 9:47 AM
Perry, post what group you will be on Sunday AM

Might try to go on Sunday and hope to see you there.
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 Message #87922 - This was a reply to message #87895
kassper7
RE: My LPGA LA Open experience
GK Event: Played in a GK Event GK Cup: Past & Current Champions of The GK Cup

Member Since:
    January 30, 2015


Favorite Golfer:
    Michelle Wie, Ricky
Favorite Golf Course:
    Oak Quarry


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Thursday April 19, 2018 10:03 AM
Friday 4/20/18 10th Tee - Group 32 12:33 PM - 05:03 PM
Saturday 4/21/18 1st Tee - Group 11 10:00 AM - 02:30 PM
Sunday 4/22/18 1st Tee - Group 5 08:48 AM - 01:18 PM


Sunday you might have to just see me at the 18th green since I'm with such an early group.
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 Message #87923 - This was a reply to message #87922

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