The PGA TOUR is extremely dependent on an extensive volunteer base at every tournament. We want to make sure each tournament is comfortable with the scoring volunteer roles. Slides and handouts are used to guide everyone through each phase of the scoring process. These materials should make your chairpersons and volunteers comfortable with the system.
We also have training information for the volunteers located on the Web at ShotLink.com. The committee chair should distribute this web address to the volunteers so they can review the training material prior to your event. This site was designed to allow your volunteers to become more familiar with the overall ShotLink process prior to the training sessions held during advance week. As ShotLink is ever evolving, the chairperson should make their best effort to get everyone to training prior to the start of the event. Training cannot take place before the scorer is to go out on course. Your Advance Operations Staff member will coordinate the date and time of the training sessions.
The job of a walking scorer is to walk with a group and keep their score and specific statistics. They will be assigned to a group in the pro-am and the tournament. It is important that the walking scorers have an understanding of the game of golf, and can accurately score up to three players in a group. This volunteer role is expected to walk all 18 holes over sometimes very hilly terrain.
Walking scorers will be issued a handheld device to carry. We will also provide a voice radio with a headset to facilitate constant communication with the ShotLink staff.
GREENSIDE LASER OPERATORS
Greenside laser operator position is a critical position. Not all volunteers will be able to satisfactorily accomplish this task. Our training program has been developed to help the volunteers have the best chance to be successful in this role.
As a first step, it is necessary to question the volunteers as to their interest in operating a laser on a platform. If the volunteer is not interested in this type position, then chances are very strong that they will not succeed as a greenside laser operator. These volunteers will be on a platform (varying from 4 to 6 feet high) and they will be using a “survey grade” laser to take multiple measurements per player on the green. Greenside laser operators are in constant voice communication by radio with the ShotLink Producers. This radio link allows the volunteers to communicate any problems or concerns directly to the ShotLink staff.
It is best to educate the volunteers that this is a challenging position which can be a lot of fun. The volunteers’ ability to succeed at this task will be greatly enhanced if they will review the materials on ShotLink.com, attend the training sessions during advance week, and work the Pro-Am.
Two volunteers, working as a team, on the greenside platform are key to the success of the greenside laser position. One volunteer will grid the coordinates of each ball on a map provided to them and operate the voice radio controling the communication back to the ShotLink trailer, while the other operates the laser and the handheld device.
FAIRWAY LASER OPERATORS
The operation of the fairway lasers is a less intense process. This is a basic point and shoot rangefinder laser and it is very easy to spot the tee shot(s) and take the measurement. These volunteers are stationed just inside the ropes near the landing area of the drive. Each station consists of a laser positioned on a movable monopod. There is also a handheld device that captures and transfers the data of each players shot to the ShotLink system. In addition a voice radio with headset will be provided to the volunteer so they will have constant voice communication with the ShotLink staff. All of the necessary equipment will be delivered each morning. We have found that a 2 person team is best for these positions. One person will operate the laser and the other person will record grid coordinates that will also be entered into the system to verify that the shot and the grid are within tolerance.
These volunteers are critical to the success of the tournament. They should be part of the Tournament Volunteer Structure, and will be in communication with the Operation Advance Staff member prior to and during the event. The tournament will need to supply carts for these Volunteers. (Note: These are not part of the allotted carts supplied for ShotLink Staff.)
The Greenside Laser Operators will stand on a platform at each green. These covered platforms will be a minimum of 6 feet tall. The top of the platform will be approximately 6 feet by 6 feet. They are tied down and very sturdy, with railings on the stairs and around the top. They also have skirting around the scaffolding for better appearance. Obviously, we want the volunteer to feel very comfortable and safe on these platforms.
The PGA TOUR will procure a vendor to build these platforms at all tournaments. The locations of these platforms will be spotted during advance week with the help of the Rules Official, the ShotLink Staff, and the Tournament Staff. We will work to make these platforms as convenient as possible. These platforms are done at no expense to the tournament.
Are You Ready?
Your Advance Operation Staff member will make contact with the appropriate chairpersons and staff members. We will work together in order to make sure we have enough volunteers to support 18 holes of lasers (Minimum of approximately 150 people each day Thursday & Friday, and 80 each day Saturday & Sunday for lasers only). The volunteer recruitment process can be enhanced by calling mapping and surveying associations, universities, junior golf programs, and any technology companies in your area, as well as using social media outlets. We have found these groups are extremely interested in this kind of work. The key is open communication between your volunteer chairperson and TOUR ShotLink staff to ensure we are headed in the right direction.