This year the U.S. Women’s Open will be contested at Sebonack Golf Club, from June 24 to 30. Nestled on the Peconic Bay, this course collaboration between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Doak is a classic amongst the world’s greatest golf courses. This will be the first Open Championship hosted at Sebonack, and the first U.S. Women’s Open ever held on Long Island.
Volunteers Are Needed
For golf enthusiasts, volunteering at an Open is a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the game and to give something back to the sport. “Volunteers are critical to golf tournaments,” says Andy Newman, the Hole Captain for The Bridge for the upcoming U.S. Women’s Open. “They not only help spectators, but are important to keeping the tournament running smoothly for the players. I was surprised at how rewarding an experience it was [Newman volunteered at the 2010 Mid-Amateur tournament at Atlantic Golf Club], and I am looking forward to volunteering at this year’s U.S. Women’s Open.”
If you’re looking for an opportunity to be inside the ropes, Marshalling is a great option for you. As a Marshal you will be asked to assist with managing the movement of both players and gallery. You will be assigned a specific hole and are likely have the opportunity to work from various vantage points along that hole throughout the week. You are asked to work at least four to five days over the course of the championship. This is divided into approximately four- or five-hour shifts or about 16 to 20 hours. For those who are interested, the USGA will make every effort to accommodate your scheduling requests and preference for working with other volunteers you may know.
Volunteer Orientation will be at Westhampton Beach High School on June 1 and 2. The Volunteer Party will be held at Sebonack on June 22, from 4 to 8 p.m.
The USGA also seeks the assistance of Junior Volunteers ages 13 to 17 years old. They will be looking for assistance with the Standard Bearers Committee. This is a great opportunity for juniors to walk with the players during competition.
Your $125 volunteer package includes two golf shirts, one windbreaker, one hat or visor, a USGA water bottle and your credential, which grants you access into the championship all seven days.
If you are interested in joining the Marshal team, please visit 2013uswomensopen.com and register, making sure to select your club name (The Bridge) as your committee choice or contact Brent Bonner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Challenges Facing Players
The key for the eventual champion will be to navigate the undulating greens. Players familiar with Sebonack say the greens require so much local knowledge that tour pros would be better off using one of the club’s caddies who are well-versed by their iconic caddiemaster Jason Bunge. In addition, players will need to hit these tricky greens with their approaches from the fairway. It will be a difficult task for those who are hitting long irons or hybrids. It is challenging enough to hold some of the greens with a pitching wedge, let alone a longer club. It would not be surprising if the leader board on Sunday is filled with some of the tour’s longest drivers of the golf ball because of this. Another challenge the players will face will be the wind. Since Sebonack sits on the Peconic Bay, there is very little protection from the wind. This will cause havoc, as players will be trying to keep the ball low, yet manage to have their approach shots hold these devilish greens. We have to wait and see what weather the players will face and the course setup the USGA decides to use.
Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to be inside the ropes at one of the most exciting venues in all of championship golf. The best female players in the world will be there to test their game and you have the opportunity to have a front row ticket.
For more info, visit 2013uswomensopen.com.
Darren deMaille is the head golf professional at The Bridge in Bridgehampton.