My Experience at the Viking Classic
By mustang6560 on 7/18/11
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience volunteering at the Viking Classic in Madison, Mississippi and I would encourage every golf fan to volunteer at a PGA Tour event at least once in their life. Admittedly, the main reason I volunteered was so I could play Annandale Golf Club in the volunteer golf outing in September. But, I was also looking forward to being inside the ropes of a PGA Tour event.
Originally, I was told I would be helping spot balls in the rough and making sure the crowd didn't move or talk during a players swing. I was slightly concerned it would be a long two days. But, to my delight, I ended up operating the Shot Link laser which kept me very engaged. The person who was operating the laser was not going to be working Sunday so he decided to train me to do it.
Every hole had a Shot Link laser behind the green and the par 4s and 5s had a laser in the fairway and the par 5s had a second laser near the layup point. I was in charge of the Shot Link laser in the short position on hole 5 so every time a player hit, I had to shoot the location of their shot. The distance was uploaded in real time to the Shot Link mobile headquarters near the clubhouse and if there were any questions, they would call in over the radio "Base to five short". "Five short, go ahead." The person working with me had a grid of the entire hole and his job was to provide the coordinates of each shot so the mobile unit could cross reference the laser. Every so often, we would have to re-calibrate the location of the laser by shooting three predetermined reference points.
I was really glad I was asked to work the laser because it made the time fly by and it made me feel like I was actually contributing to the tournament. I helped record all of the shot data from hole 5 on Saturday and Sunday. I ended up working a 12 hour shift on Saturday because several weather delays pushed the finish of the second round into the morning. To recap my experience, I picked the top seven things I learned. Enjoy.
Top 7 Things I Learned from Volunteering on the PGA Tour
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