Volunteers help keep the PGA running like a fine-tuned machine - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Volunteers help keep the PGA running like a fine-tuned machine

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- They actually pay for the privilege to work.

But the people who volunteer to work at the PGA Tournament at Valhalla don't mind one bit.

3,500 workers pay good money to assist the thousands of spectators who come here for the tournament.

Whether it is shagging balls on the practice green, or working the ropes for crowd control, the volunteers fill about 40 different jobs to help make sure everything goes the way it is supposed to go for the four day major golf tournament.

Kevin Singer is a hole marshall on number nine hole. He has worked the tournament when it was in Louisville in the past and believes the money he paid to become a volunteer is well worth it.

"It cost us $185 to sign up as a hole marshall and for that we got a hat, a shirt and a lot of privileges around the course," he says.

Volunteer Mike Griffin agrees, "You get more than your money's worth, you get clothes, you get meal vouchers, and parking, that's the big advantage, you get to park at the volunteer lot," Griffin says.

The volunteers also have access to a large air conditioned pavilion located near the front nine of the golf course.

"Early morning they have your coffee ready," says volunteer John Robards, "they get your rolls ready, they provide you with all of the information you need and tell you to go out and have a good time and that's what we do."

Robards was taking Wednesday off sitting in a lawn chair watching the pros putt, having worked on Tuesday. He'll be back on the job on Thursday when tournament play begins.

The PGA says it could not stage such a tournament without the volunteers who come here from 40 states and six countries.

"Each and every one of them giving 12 to 20 hours of their time over the course of three to four shifts throughout the week, you put the numbers together and that's a massive amount of manpower," says PGA Championship director Brett Sterba.

For Roger Craycraft from Lexington, it was his first time as a PGA volunteer.

"It hasn't been hard work on the practice round but I expect it to be a lot busier when the tournament starts on Thursday and the crowds grow larger," says Craycraft. 

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