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 job of a walking scorer is to walk with a group and keep their score and specific statistics. They will be assigned to a group in the pro-am and the tournament. It is important that the walking scorers have an understanding of the game of golf, and can accurately score up to three players in a group. This volunteer role is expected to walk all 18 holes over sometimes very hilly terrain.
Walking scorers will be issued a Microsoft Lumia device. We will also provide a voice radio with a headset to facilitate constant communication with the ShotLink staff.
FAIRWAY LASER OPERATORS
The operation of the fairway lasers is a less intense process. This is a basic point and shoot rangefinder laser and it is very easy to spot the tee shot(s) and take the measurement. These volunteers are stationed just inside the ropes near the landing area of the drive. Each station consists of a laser positioned on a movable monopod. There is also a handheld device that captures and transfers the data of each players shot to the ShotLink system. In addition, a voice radio with headset will be provided to the volunteer so they will have constant voice communication with the ShotLink staff. All of the necessary equipment will be delivered each morning.
We have found that a 2 person team is best for these positions. One person will operate the laser and the other person will record grid coordinates that will also be entered into the system to verify that the shot and the grid are within tolerance.
The Tablet operator position is a new role that replaces the greenside position. Not all volunteers will be able to satisfactorily accomplish this task. Our training program has been modified to help identify the volunteers who will have the best chance to be successful in this role.
As a first step, it is necessary to question the volunteers as to their interest in operating a tablet and being mobile around the green to capture shots in a timely manner. If the volunteer is not interested in this type position, then chances are very strong that they will not succeed as a tablet operator. These volunteers will be inside the ropes using a tablet that has a map of the green. Tablet operators are in constant voice communication by radio with the ShotLink Producers. This radio link allows the volunteers to communicate any problems or concerns directly to the ShotLink staff.
It is best to educate the volunteers that this is a challenging position which can be a lot of fun. The volunteers’ ability to succeed at this task will be greatly enhanced by completing all the training. Two volunteers, working as a team, will plot balls that miss the green and continue to plot them until they are holed out.
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.