Sanford International volunteers are backbone of tournament

Flexibility and can-do attitude of volunteers make PGA Champions Tour stop run

Sanford International golf tournament volunteer carries a group identification sign with names and scores of three golfers.

There are no fans in the stands until Sept. 16.

The course is largely vacant.

But, if you head over to the Sanford International volunteer headquarters, you’d have no idea the tournament wasn’t already underway.

“Tournament week is very busy but because of our volunteers the tournament is a huge success,” said Sanford International volunteer coordinator Remi Guthman. “We could never accomplish the tournament without them.”

‘It’s all hands on deck’

Guthman says duties for volunteers during the week are basically the same as the weekend. But, as the crowds surge on the weekend, so does the need for more volunteers.

“We have college volunteers who go out and marshal. We have junior volunteers — they’re out on the driving range. Our security ambassadors are located all around the course, helping people out, along with our marshals.

“Also, the people who are on volunteer headquarters, who make sure our volunteers stay fed, hydrated, and warm (or cool) throughout the day,” said Guthman, who has worked the tournament through 40-degree weather, rain and wind.

800+ volunteers needed

Volunteer registration for the 2021 Sanford International is now open. More than 800 volunteers are needed for the week of events. Volunteers serve on more than 20 different committees working indoors and outdoors, on the course and in the tournament office.

How to volunteer: Learn more about volunteering at the Sanford International

One of the tournament’s repeat volunteers is David Rowe, volunteer chairman for security ambassadors at the tournament.

Volunteers can select their top three choices for positions, and some fill fast. Rowe said Guthman and other leaders assign positions based on sometimes fluctuating needs.

“How many people do we need there? If a person goes this way, what happens when they get down to a certain point? Even in the first days we’ve been here, we’re going through what-if situations, and we’re already finding that we have to adjust some things we’re doing,” said Rowe.

Important to be flexible

Guthman says the flexibility and positive attitude of each volunteer has proven how much they’re committed to hosting a tournament that runs as smoothly as possible.

“That’s everyone’s goal. That’s what’s so great about being here all week, too, is that everyone’s so willing to try new things and make it work,” she added.

Tournament director Josh Brewster says leaders can do all the planning they want, but without the volunteers, the tournament couldn’t happen.

“Without volunteers, we’re not able to do what we do. They’re truly the backbone of our tournament.”

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Posted In Community, Golf, Innovations, Sanford International, Sioux Falls

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