Golf Marshal / Volunteers Golf Day – the benefits of volunteering

The Background

On Monday, May 8th, 2023, I had the privilege of participating in the Golf Marshal Volunteers Golf Day at The Nottinghamshire Golf & Country Club. Before delving into the significance of their work, let me share how this opportunity came about.

The NCG Society Guide organised a giveaway competition, offering a dozen Taylor Made Tour Response golf balls as the prize. To enter, participants simply had to fill out an online form, providing the name of their golf society and contact email. One of the entries was submitted by Mark Fieldston, on behalf of the Golf Marshals/Volunteers. This was the first time I became aware of such a group, and it immediately piqued my interest.

The Link & Invitation

Coincidentally, I noticed on social media that the England & Wales Blind Golf Association were seeking volunteers for an event scheduled for May 7th at Kilworth Spring Golf Club. This reminded me of the golf marshals/volunteer society I had seen in the competition entries. Intrigued, I reached out to Mark via email to inquire if they could assist. Naturally, he was receptive and shared the request on The Golf Marshals Group on Facebook.

Several emails were exchanged between Mark and myself, with one eventually extending an invitation to play in their golf day at The Nottinghamshire. Eager to learn more about their work and activities, I gladly accepted the offer. While I had previously encountered golf marshals at events, I knew little about their involvement beyond that.

Arrival & First Impressions

Upon arriving at The Nottinghamshire, I proceeded to the registration desk, where I received a warm and friendly welcome, along with my scorecard for the day. Right from the start, it was evident that this group was tightly-knit and genuinely passionate about what they do. If I had to sum up the atmosphere in the room with three words, they would be camaraderie, fun, and a shared love of golf.

Golf & the important role of Volunteers

Rather than boring you with the details of my round, let me share some noteworthy insights gleaned from conversations with my playing partners & others:

  • Flagship events in the UK, such as The British Masters and the PGA at Wentworth, require a significant number of volunteers.
  • Other notable events include The Ryder Cup, Olympics, President’s Cup, Seniors, and Ladies events.
  • The scale of volunteer involvement can be substantial, with approximately 300 volunteers required for The British Masters and 600 for the PGA at Wentworth.
  • Volunteers are not paid for their services, but the work is treated professionally and regarded as such. The days can be long but rewarding.
  • Volunteers have the opportunity to get up close to the action inside the ropes.
  • Volunteering for an event still requires personal planning and organisation, such as arranging accommodation and transportation.
  • Without the dedication of volunteers, these events would simply not run as smoothly as they currently do.
  • Participants in the golf day had traveled from far and wide, including places like Kent and Aberdeen.

The 19th Hole

After completing the round, we gathered in the clubhouse to hand in our scorecards and contribute to a raffle, with all proceeds benefiting the local hospice. The raffle prizes were generously donated by those participating in the golf day. We then enjoyed a meal while engaging in lively discussions about all things golf. Finally, the winner was announced, and the trophy was presented.

The winner Andrea Dawson and Mark Fieldston, Captain of the Nottinghamshire and organiser of the golf day.

The British Masters at The Belfry – Volunteers needed!

Before bidding farewell, it became evident that Hole Marshals were needed for The British Masters at The Belfry. So, if you’re interested in golf marshalling/volunteering, please register at The British Masters Volunteering or email [email protected].

Benefits to volunteering

All in all, it was an incredibly enjoyable day, and I sincerely hope to be invited back next year. The only difference will be that I would have registered my interest in volunteering. Why don’t you consider doing the same as it made me think about all the benefits to volunteering – such as the importance of human connections, sense of worth, making a difference & last but no means least the positive effects on physical & mental health.

Paul Miller (Mr NCG Society Guide – [email protected])