In the summer of 2016, I applied to be a volunteer at the U.S. Amateur Championship at famed Oakland Hills Country Club here in southeast Michigan. Lucky for me, not only was my application accepted, I got the job I asked for: emptying the trash cans on the golf course. You’re probably thinking: Is this guy nuts? Why would anybody want to haul away trash bags? There were two reasons: One, it gave me a chance to see much of Oakland Hills again, a course I was fortunate to play (in a previous life) maybe 35 times. And two, it gave me the opportunity to watch some of the best amateur golfers in the world compete.
This past August I volunteered again, this time to work at the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at the highly regarded but not well known Country Club of Detroit. Located in the very pretty city of Grosse Pointe Farms, a block or two from the shores of beautiful Lake St. Clair, CCD proved to be a good test and a great venue. I didn’t do trash this time, but I did help at the practice range. Once again, I was able to watch some of the best amateurs in the world hit balls. As well as they play, though, they are seniors, after all. After spending a lot of time and money to make the field, two of the competitors missed their tee times and were disqualified. (Hopefully, they didn’t forget to take their meds that day, too.)
Working at the Amateur was great fun, my fellow volunteers and I were treated wonderfully, and we were able help the members of the club and the United States Golf Association conduct an exciting and enjoyable tournament. Best of all, it was another chance for me to give something back to the game I’ve loved since I started caddying at the of age 13.
If you should hear about a local, state or national tournament being held near you, think about volunteering. I have no doubt you’ll be glad you did.