|Photo: Chris White|
This past week was a historic one for the Wyndham Championship. It was also a (er) historic one for me.
The Wyndham Championship is an annual PGA Tour golf tournament held in Greensboro. The tournament has been known to provide some historic moments – look no further than Sam Snead, the man for whom the tournament’s trophy is named – but there was something in the air in its 76th playing. The Wyndham is the final tournament in the Tour’s regular season, meaning professional golf’s best descend upon Sedgefield Country Club to either improve their FedExCup standing or play their way into the FedExCup Playoffs. With so much on the line, the 2015 Wyndham field didn’t disappoint. From young guns Justin Thomas and Ollie Schneiderjans, to household names Davis Love III and Brant Snedeker, to major champions Martin Kaymer and, yes, even Tiger Woods, the field was stacked. Golf fans responded with a whopping 143,000 in attendance throughout the week, smashing records left and right.
The professor in my senior capstone course at N.C. State preached to us that we should make sure we stay involved in some capacity in order to not have a gap in our resumes if it takes a while to find a job. So far, the job search for me has been a tough go, so I knew I needed to find an opportunity to gain experience in the meantime – plus I get antsy if I don’t have something to do every day. Ever since attending the U.S. Open in Pinehurst in 2014, I’ve become somewhat obsessed with golf. Fast forward to April and I found myself searching for something new and exciting that would provide practical experience to add to my resume as well.
Enter the Wyndham.
I decided to sign up to help although I had no clue what I was getting myself into. There were several committees or teams to choose, ranging from gallery marshal, to standard bearer, even to operations and sponsor services. I chose to help with Tee Box Drink Distribution, which is responsible for maintaining the coolers at tee boxes and Shotlink towers at each hole on the course. I was immediately drawn to this position because it would not only be a different experience for me but the Wyndham’s website said that it would offer a great way to watch golf while volunteering.
I worked on Saturday, the third round of the tournament. I was paired with a guy who was experienced in this position and we took a cart filled with water, Gatorade and ice throughout the course from a bit before 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Hard work and long hours, yes, but I did get to see quite a bit of golf while working. In fact, I was just a few feet away from the aforementioned Kaymer, Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, hometown guy Webb Simpson, Jason Gore – who led the field for much of the day on Saturday – and even Tiger. When I completed my shift, I had plenty of time to head over to the 18th fairway to see some of those same players and others walk up to the green to complete their rounds.
Working at the Wyndham was definitely a new experience for me but it also provided me some valuable experience that’s right in the area I’d like to pursue career-wise. I won’t soon forget being apart of this historic event.