PGA officials: Volunteers make championship special - News, Weather & Sports

PGA officials: Volunteers make championship special

Gary Boblitt (Source: Rick Miller/WAVE 3 News) Gary Boblitt (Source: Rick Miller/WAVE 3 News)
Allie Hanson (Source: Rick Miller/WAVE 3 News) Allie Hanson (Source: Rick Miller/WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Valhalla Golf Club will host celebrities and champions this week, but PGA officials say, it's really the volunteers who make the PGA Championship what it is.

“It's been a really great experience,” said volunteer Gary Boblitt.

Of the 3,500 volunteers from 40 states and five countries, most of them, like Boblitt, return to the championship to volunteer every chance they can.

“I just enjoy the people,” said Boblitt. “People that are our volunteers are very nice, and the opportunity to see inside the ropes and see what's going on -- it's a lot of fun.”

The volunteers work admission, shuttles, contestant transportation and are marshals. The marshals maintain order on the greens.

“They help with keeping the crowds silent, said Volunteer Operations Manager Allie Hanson. "You'll see them pull the ropes up for the players to cross and everything. They're a big part to helping control the crowds.”

Boblitt said he likes handling transportation, but he knows to be respectful of the golfers.

“I've driven Jack Nicklaus back to the airport during the Ryder cup, I've seen Tiger several times, and I've seen a lot of the golfers, Boblitt said, "but basically, I try not to say anything much. They have a job to do, and I let them do it."

Boblitt said he likes showing the golfers Kentucky hospitality and showing them around town.

“They're very hospitable, but as the week goes on and they get into the actual playing, then the determination is there,” Boblitt said. “They don't want to be bothered. They're very focused on what they're doing."

Tickets already are sold out for the championship on Thursday through Sunday.

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