Thousands of volunteers will help make PGA Championship a success, organizers say

TULSA, Okla. — Three thousand volunteers will work alongside PGA staff at Southern Hills next week to make the championship event a success.

Friday is uniform and credential pick up day, according to Kenny Martin, Manager of Championship Volunteer Operations. Volunteers drive in from all over the region and even from out-of-state to pick up their volunteer packets.

Mother Nature decided to throw everyone a curve ball Friday morning when severe weather made it unsafe to move all the volunteers to the golf course at Southern Hills for several hours.

When a lightning delay kept volunteers on buses longer than anticipated in the parking lot of the Maybee Center, driver Scott Henderson came up with an idea:

“They said you could always put on a movie and I said well I have some I’m not sure if you’d like ‘em,” he said, “they’re Christmas movies, that’s better than nothing.”

>>>MORE: Phil Mickelson withdraws from PGA Championship

Passengers on another bus were treated to Starbucks, compliments of a fellow volunteer.

Fellow passenger Mike Johnson from Tahlequah quickly became the envy of his bus after passengers learned his volunteer assignment is as a hole marshal, on the 18th hole.

“It’s the best seat in the house,” he answered when we asked him how he feels about his assignment next week.

Friday is uniform and credential pick up at southern hills for the 3,000 volunteers who will help make the PGA Championship happen next week.

“Everyone kind of sees the Marshals,” Kenny Martin, Manager of Championship Volunteer Operations explained. “But we do, we have committees that actually rope and stake the entire golf course, so when you’re sitting behind the rope line, that was all done by volunteers. When you’re watching on CBS or ESPN, and you see there’s 140 yard left on that shot, a volunteer is getting that yardage and actually feeding it into the production trucks.”

Volunteers who pay just over $200 to play a role in the PGA championship, also get plenty of swag including two shirts, a jacket, hat, water bottle, and meal and water vouchers.

Volunteers also get to attend the event when they’re not working. Volunteer spots filled up fast.

Martin says it’s all about being part of the experience:

“These people love being involved, being behind the scenes, getting to see all the different areas of the course and feeling like they helped put on these championships.”

People like Heather and Quentin Pannell of Bentonville, Arkansas who will be driving back next week with their camper to volunteer.

“It’s awesome,” Quentin said, “I came to the ‘94 PGA Championship with my dad years ago, and just the opportunity to come back to Southern Hills is amazing.”

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