BMW PGA volunteers: FAQs

14 May 2018 Feature Article

The BMW PGA Championship Volunteer Support Team with 2017 winner Alex Noren

BIGGA will once again be taking a team of members to the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club to assist the home team with the preparation and maintenance of the course during the event.

In anticipation of the event, which takes place from 24-27 May 2018, we answered some of the most frequently asked questions we get from members.

What time should I arrive?

The prep team will arrive on Sunday at the greenkeepers’ compound for a BBQ, to meet their new team members for a week.

For the bunker team, when you first arrive, park your car in either of the free park and ride stations (Sunningdale or Ascot) to get a park and ride bus in, which are every 5 minutes. Journey time to Wentworth Club is around 15 minutes, so make sure you give yourself enough time. On the main tournament days, the Park and Ride runs from 6.30am – 9pm.

If you are one of the first eight matches, you can jump on the marshals’ bus, which leaves from the park and ride stations early (just after 6am) on all four days. This will ensure you arrive before the first tee time.

When you arrive on site, go through the main ticket entrance, come through the spectator village, up past the putting area, towards the sports club, and on the right-hand side leading out to car park 6 you will see the BIGGA cabin, adjacent to the second hole, where you can check in.

Arrive 40 minutes before your match number and make yourself known to the BIGGA staff on duty at the cabin. It’s important that you go by the match number, not the tee times because these are estimated and can change. Please check the tour website or contact Rachael Duffy and she can give details (mobile number in correspondence you received) regarding which match you have been assigned.

How do I get on site?

Entry tickets/weekly passes for the main prep team will be allocated on the Sunday when you arrive for the team meeting. 

Entry tickets for the bunker team will be mailed by first class post once BIGGA is in receipt of them from the European Tour.

Where will we be staying?

The course prep team will have accommodation provided at the Crown Hotel in Chertsey (KT16 8AP) and all other team members should have booked their own accommodation or will be travelling in daily. 

How many extra tickets do I get?

You will receive one additional complimentary ticket for each day you volunteer. For example, if you work two days you will receive two tickets. However, these cannot be claimed for the same day, but must be used on the two separate days you are on site. 

You will receive a personal ticket code via email from Rachael Duffy. When you get the code, follow the instructions on the email to the ticket website and select your free ticket option. We will be unable to replace lost tickets, so be careful and do not abuse the booking system.

What uniform will I receive?

If you do up to two days’ volunteering you will receive one polo shirt and baseball cap. You will also receive a Club Car rucksack, which you must use if you would like to carry a bag out on the course, and personal bags will not be allowed. 

If you are volunteering for more than two days and you will get two polo shirts, a jacket/windshield and baseball cap.

Do not get your baseball cap autographed.

What do I wear?

When preparing for your match we ask that you wear dark trousers, such as navy, black or dark grey, tailored trousers. Do not wear workwear trousers with side pockets, shorts or denim. Wear a white polo shirt with no logo when you arrive on site and change into the official polo shirt and baseball cap for your match. 

As you are wearing short sleeves, support team members often find it useful to bring mosquito spray and strong sun cream to protect themselves.

You may wear shorts and casual clothing when not on duty.

On your feet, wear either golf shoes or smart trainers for your match.

(Tony Bartram, remember to bring your bee suit!)

What are the rules about talking to golfers?

Only speak to golfers or their caddies if they speak to you. You will meet the golfers on the first tee, where you may be introduced to the team. Out on the course, only speak when approached by golfers or their caddies and stick with the match team as much as you are able. Instructions will be repeated before each match.

What responsibilities will I have?

Before each match, check in at the BIGGA cabin to receive your rake. Afterwards, check back in to drop your rake off and tell us about any stories that have happened while out on the course!

Remember, you are representing BIGGA and the greenkeeping profession, so it is important to maintain professionalism at all times. Be polite and help out the scorer and scoreboard carrier if they require any assistance. 

Be vigilant with play and only rake a bunker once the golfer has left the area, and when you will not be directly in the line of site for anyone putting. If there are any litter or stones in the bunker when you are raking them, pick them up and place in the next bin you find. Keep an eye out for the condition of all the bunkers in case they have been missed by the previous matches.

What if I have two bunkers to rake on a hole?

Do not panic. Alert the referee’s attention that you must rake one bunker, followed by another, and the referee will delay play to ensure you can complete the task well.

Where do we get food from?

You will be given a daily strip of vouchers to the value of £12.50, which can be redeemed in the spectator village and catering outlets around the course. On-course catering is available on holes 1,2,5,10,12,14 and 17.

We advise you to bring snacks and refreshment to keep you going, away from meals. 

Water is provided from the BIGGA cabin.

Will I be able to take photographs during my match?

Mobile phones must be left in the BIGGA cabin prior to your match and are not allowed to take images during your match. 

However, once your duties are complete and you are free to wander, cameras and video cameras are allowed on course on all playing days. Flash and sound must be turned off.

What freebies will I get?

There is no guarantee of souvenirs from the golfers. Please do not ask for them for souvenirs, however these may be given at the discretion of the golfers.

Will there be any spare time?

Yes. Once you have done your match each day, you may come and go as you please. You are welcome to watch golf or relax in the marquee, shared with all the other volunteers, or visit the BIGGA cabin, where you can join us for a cup of tea and a biscuit and make friends and network with BIGGA staff, fellow members and the Wentworth Home team.

In the evenings, there are no BIGGA-hosted events planned, so feel free to arrange drinks or a meal with your fellow team members.

However, on Saturday evening you are eligible to stay for the concert, to be performed by Rudimental.

On Sunday the end of tournament concert will feature Simple Minds and you are eligible to stay for this. 

On Sunday evening those who wish to stay behind and have a drink, BIGGA staff and members of the support team will be meeting one final time in the spectator village.

Will we get a look inside the Wentworth greenkeeping facilities?

Ask Rachael at the BIGGA cabin when you arrive and we will endeavour to arrange a group visit during the tournament, if there is sufficient interest.

When can I leave?

At the culmination of the tournament it is tradition for the BIGGA volunteer team to have a group photograph with the winner. This isn’t guaranteed, nor is it compulsory, but if you would like to be involved, we meet at 4.30pm at the BIGGA cabin and Rachael Duffy will lead you to the meeting point.

Once you have done your match, there is no obligation to stay on site.

If you have any further questions about the BIGGA Volunteer Support Team, email rachael.duffy@bigga.co.ukor call the office mobile number on 07933203645.

Author

Karl Hansell
Karl Hansell
BIGGA | Communications Manager

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