The PGA TOUR is extremely dependent on an extensive volunteer base at every tournament. We have moved to a new structure in the training. There are 3 requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to enjoy one of these positions.
1) Mandatory online training
2) Mandatory Live training provided by one of the PGA TOUR Operations staff
3) On course training prior to the start of the tournament rounds
The Walking Scorer role is a prestigious and critical ShotLink volunteer position that requires mental and physical stamina, attention to detail, and a thorough understanding of the game of golf. The walking scorer accompanies a group of up to 3 players in order to keep their score, track specific statistics, and provide real-time data that informs all aspects of the ShotLink system. Walking scorers should have the physical ability to easily keep pace with their group across all 18 holes without a break and in varying weather conditions (for reference, 18 holes will vary from 5-6 miles or roughly 12,000 steps). They should be comfortable using the handheld digital device they will be issued for data capture, as well as the voice radio with a headset that allows for constant communication with the ShotLink staff.
A location-based ShotLink volunteer will be operating a fairway laser, fairway or greenside tablet, or act as a Rover. The fairway laser and tablet operators track the landing position of all shots in and around the fairway. The greenside tablet operators record the landing position of shots on and around the green. These important functions of the ShotLink scoring system enable real-time distance data and statistics to be immediately computed and distributed to scoreboards, TV broadcast, internet and mobile device applications. Volunteers should have a basic knowledge of the game of golf and a commitment to timeliness, accuracy, and attention to detail. Although volunteers will work in teams of 2 in each location, they each have specific/unique responsibilities. Effective teamwork and communication are essential in these roles. All location-based operators should be physically able to stand or walk around for the duration of their shift in potentially varied weather conditions (tablet operators are expected to walk around the green or fairway as necessary to gain accurate insight into the location of each shot without interrupting play.) The rover position is responsible for rotating through each of the location-based operator positions on a specific golf hole to provide breaks, answer questions, and provide assistance as needed.
Spotters will be located at the Tee, Fairway, and Green. Ball spotters assist the fairway location-based operators and/or greenside tablet operators with locating ball positions and identifying situations where a player’s shot might be obstructed. Tee spotters assist the fairway location- based operators with directional knowledge of a player's ball flight from behind the teeing area. These positions require a basic knowledge of the game of golf, as well as a commitment to timeliness, accuracy, and attention to detail. Spotters are expected to be mobile and walk as necessary to locate shots in their designated area (normally one side of a golf hole). They should be physically fit and capable of standing/walking for the duration of their shift in a variety of weather conditions.
These volunteers are critical to the success of the tournament. They should be part of the Tournament Volunteer Structure, and will be in communication with the Operation Advance Staff member prior to and during the event. The tournament will need to supply carts for these Volunteers. (Note: These are not part of the allotted carts supplied for ShotLink Staff.)
Are You Ready?
The overall process of developing the ShotLink committee will take place approximately six months in advance of your event. Your TOUR Advance Operations Staff member will make contact with the appropriate chairperson to start the ShotLink evaluation process. We will work together in order to make sure we have enough volunteers to support 18 holes of lasers. The volunteer recruitment process can be enhanced by calling, mapping and surveying associations, universities, junior golf programs, and any technology companies in your area. We have found these groups are extremely interested in this kind of work. The key is open communication between your volunteer chairperson and TOUR ShotLink staff to ensure we are headed in the right direction.