Volunteers: Junior Championship

Local organizers of the Junior Championship, which took place on the Tournament Course at The Woodlands Country Club in The Woodlands, Texas, June 17-20, 2013, have earned the Volunteer Award from the American Junior Golf Association. The Volunteer Award is given annually to an AJGA tournament committee that builds the model team of volunteers committed to the success of the championship.

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 the highest 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 All-Star tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year. Awards will be presented at the J.R. “Digger” Smith Award Banquet in Braselton, Ga., on March 8.

The tournament committee for the Junior Championship worked to make sure volunteers, players and families had the best experience possible. The tournament had more than 100 volunteers that participated in some form throughout the tournament week. Of those volunteers, 90 percent are members of The Woodlands Country Club.

“We host a lot of events and one of the best is this AJGA event,” said Volunteer Chairman Bob Lewis. “For the club to see that our members support the tournament it makes the club want to keep supporting the tournament. This award shows to them that the membership is behind the tournament.”

The volunteers of the Junior Championship not only give their time, but they also give financially. The volunteers alone raise more than $3,000 for charity at the event.

The tournament offers several unique volunteer opportunities, including volunteers on the driving range to help players find their designated stall, hospitality-tent operators who provide snacks and drinks to parents and players, crossing guards and spotters on each hole. The volunteers wear brightly colored shirts to make them easier to spot.

“When the parents and players see us spotting out there that helps,” Lewis said. “When they see the volunteers in their bright shirts, they really like that.”

The tournament committee tries to make the event fun for not only the players and their families, but for the volunteers as well.

“What we have done with our volunteering at The Woodlands Country Club is we focus on the volunteers having fun,” Lewis said. “We have a lot of smiles and a lot of Blue Bell ice cream. It really keeps everybody in a good mood, working, smiling and talking to the parents and the visitors.”

The tournament returns to the AJGA schedule in 2014 and will be played June 16-19 at The Woodlands Country Club - Tournament Course.

Complete list of 2013 Tournament Awards.