It's a Golf Crazy Time here in Philadelphia
Monday, June 10, 2013
This is not really a health/fitness/weight loss motivational blog - rather I just thought it would be fun to write about my experience working as a hole marshal at the 2013 US Golf Open at the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, PA.
I am very appreciative of my ability to work as a Marshal at the Open. I worked 2 prior tournaments in this area and really enjoyed being out amongst the people. So I jumped at the chance to do it for this historic Open.
I have played Merion - in a ladies team match; the philadelphia region has a very strong ladies inter-club match system. Even though I played Merion 14 years ago or so, I can remember virtually every hole. My match that day started on the 16th hole and that is the hole our volunteer group is working.
Today the weather was just terrible - rains closed the course, flooded the low lying areas and made for very difficult walking up and down the hills. I am thankful that with my efforts through SP I remain healthy and can handle a full day standing at my hole assignment and then walking as a spectator. SO many people we having difficulty with the long walks between spectator areas and the numerous hills and temporary stairs. But - hey they were out there and perhaps they too will be "sparked" to keep on moving toward better health.
Well in a nutshell today: Up at 5:45, lunches prepared for the kids going to school and out of the house by 6:50 to travel to the course. We drove (my husband, son and I) to the public trans and trained it to the course. Arriving at 815 by the time we walked to our hole. A day of rain and few players - they had closed the course due to severe rains and didn't open up for any play until 11:15 am.
Now came the fun - Tiger Woods started on the 14th hole at 11am - so word quickly spread around the course and the crowds started to swell by the time he was on the 15th green - I am working the 16th hole, so we were holding back the crowds until he hit his tee shot onto 16. But here is the thing, manning a crosswalk means that the people have to CROSS over the fairway to the other side...well with Tiger 50 yards ahead of them, they want to STOP in the middle - get out their cameras (practice day it is ok for cameras) and just watch. That is a no-no...so with the most pleasant voice you have to ask them to "keep moving please." I have to say, most of the people smile back and realize they have to move on. So this was just a practice round and there must have been 400 people crossing - come Thurs-Sunday, that crowd will mass to thousands.
It should get very interesting, as it is a real choke point between 15, 16 and the massive "spectators square" located between 16 and 17. This is where the main merchandise tent is located as well as a bunch of other interactive fan areas. h let's not forget that between 16 and the spectators square the walkway shares space with the numerous golf carts for officials, grounds keepers, food vendors and you name it, any other worker needing a cart. Good thing I like people!
Our shift finished at 1:30 and we decided to return home. There was no sense in walking the remainder of the course because another weather cell of heavy rains was immanent and would close the course again. Sure enough, upon walking into my front door, the heavens opened and about 1/2 hour later I received my USGA official text message saying the all play was done for the day.
Headed back as a spectator tues - late morning. Please stop the rain.
Pictures to come.