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Hundreds of volunteers help manage Kiawah’s PGA Championship

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 3:24 PM EDT

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The PGA Championship kicks off Thursday, and many of the people helping pull off one of golf’s major events are volunteers.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic limiting some volunteer roles for the 2021 event, about 2,500 volunteers are working concessions, guest services, on-course marshalling, and other roles.

While some of them are local, many volunteers are from out of town traveling to the Charleston area to get behind the scenes access to the PGA Championship and get up close and personal with some of the greatest golfers in the world.

Adult volunteers are required to volunteer for at least four shifts, which amounts to about 16 to 20 hours.

However, many volunteers said, if you’re a golf fan, volunteering is a great way to experience the PGA Championship happening on Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Ocean Course.

“You develop an appreciation for what it takes to put on an epic event like this. This doesn’t happen in a week. It’s probably a year or two of planning, maybe more. There’s thousands of people here, and in some of the events, there’s thousands of volunteers alone,” Volunteer Barbara Schmidt said. “It’s just an incredible logistics and organizing and communication events. So, we are sort of impressed by that, and it always goes back to, we love golf.”

PGA America volunteers paid $210 to take on these roles, but many say it’s worth it for all the perks that come with the fee. It pays for their uniform, which consists of two custom-designed golf shirts, a jacket and a hat. Plus they are given access to the course for all seven days of the PGA Championship week.

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