The American Junior Golf Association has awarded the E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor Championship with the 2017 Volunteer Award.
Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual hospitality, Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament, charitable giving and volunteer base. Awards are also given to the events with engaged media and social media participation. Finally, the AJGA recognizes the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and general manager, as well as the most improved event, best new event, best Junior Golf Hub Preview Series tournament, best ACDS Junior All-Star Series tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year. Tournament awards for the 2017 season will be presented on-site at 2018 tournaments.
“We really believe that the volunteers going above and beyond makes the tournament experience better,” said Co-Tournament Chair Dan Troutman. “It allows the AJGA staff to focus on the kids and frees them up to provide quicker rulings.”
In the tournament’s seventh year, it has become a role model at the volunteer level for all AJGA tournaments. With a volunteer base of more than 300 throughout the week, the community helps to provide a TOUR experience at Jones Creek Golf Club.
“We have marshals on every hole to relay scores and relay requests for rulings, and I think last year we had most of the holes sponsored by a local company,” said Troutman. “It’s just great to be able to acknowledge our volunteer base. It’s a well-deserved and earned award, and we’re excited to be able to honor our volunteers.”
The Augusta-based volunteers go above and beyond normal volunteer roles to function as an extension of the AJGA’s staff. They are responsible for much of the tournament setup each day, including helping to put out tents, signage, sand and coolers. They also go the extra mile in hospitality, adapting the clubhouse and locker rooms into a TOUR environment. Many volunteers remained on-site during the Awards Ceremony, creating a large platform for the champions’ acceptance speeches.
For Troutman and the rest of the Tournament Committee, it all centers around improvements year after year.
“We have a party before the tournament where we give out all of the shirts and talk about our plan,” said Troutman. “And then we follow up with a feedback meeting after the tournament to make sure we are always improving.”
The AJGA will return to Jones Creek Golf Club for the E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor Championship July 16-19.