Utilizing a Family of Volunteers

Shannon-FridayShannon Friday is the PGA head professional at Lake Hefner Golf Club in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Most facilities are constantly looking for volunteers to help with events. But at Lake Hefner, we have a long waiting list just to become one of our 40-plus volunteers who help with daily play and tournaments. While the main incentive to help out is that they get free golf, there is also a strong desire to help out because the volunteer group is a family that is treated just like employees are treated.¬†Our PGA director of golf, Alsie Hyden, orchestrates our volunteer service; it’s a very tight-knit group of people we make an effort to play golf with and make feel wanted. On a normal day, we usually use about four to six volunteers as rangers and starters, but we will use up to 20 volunteers for several tournaments on our schedule. These folks are critical to our tournament success because they are at the bag drop, the driving range, leading golfers to their starting hole, and marshaling on the course while the golf staff can be inside and take care of other business. Two of the volunteers lead the group, so our staff can rely on those leaders to train the new guys. With 150 outings per year, this family of volunteers typically works 8-10 hour shifts and saves us loads of time and stress while adding a very personal feeling to our events.

Our army of volunteers do take up some tee times, but we limit when they can come and they are always bringing other people who pay green fees and spend money in the shop. The real business impact is invaluable because our tournaments have the added service of being extremely coordinated and well-staffed, and this also allows us to focus more on daily fee play. It really helps us to keep people coming back for their events, and that allows us to keep growing the number of outings we host each year.