Quantcast

Behind the Ropes at the 2018 Lotte Championship - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Behind the Ropes at the 2018 Lotte Championship

Posted: Updated:

All eyes are on the LPGA Stars at Ko Olina Golf Club. But if you look closely, there are folks behind the ropes who help the Lotte Championship run like a well-oiled machine.

From crossing guards, score keepers, marshalls, and standard bearers to name a few -- about 600 volunteers are perhaps the unsung heroes of the tournament.

"We want to be invisible on the golf course. We don't want people to know we're actually there," says Jim Murphy, gallery chairman.

 "I think it's very important for us to do that. So any kind of movement in the background can really disturb a golfer that's trying to focus and keep her play in mind," says Helen Sydman, marshall

And right at the top of pyramid and the volunteer co-chairs who oversee 17 different committees.

"They work hard. I mean, it's a long day. You can look out. It's sunny out there. It gets hot and they put it a lot of hours," says volunteer head co-chairman Jim Femia.

"Well we start as early as 430 or 5 in the morning. And we work 'til the tournament is over. So some of us stay here maybe 12 to 14 hours a day," says Jim Flynn, volunteer head co-chairman.

These guys are working Behind the scenes. But one of the most visible roles out there is the standard bearer.

"We actually have it by seniority so the ones that are working for 7 years will actually, they pull numbers and they get to choose who they walk with," says Chris Urabe, standards chairwoman.

And working Michelle Wie's group is usually at the top of the list.

"A lot of people that are new wall want to walk with her, my young, the least senior people try to walk with her all the time," says Urabe.

Even though these volunteers are working for free --

"They're on their own expense. Their hotel, their lodging, their airfare,' says Flynn.

There are other perks that make it worthwhile.

"You get up close and personal to the golfers. If you have a favorite golfer, you will undoubtedly be closer to that golfer than you'll ever have another chance in your life," says Murphy.

And it's open to anyone who wants to sign up.

"I've never know anyone that we reject. If you want to be a volunteer, we have a place for you," says Femia.

Players wrap up at Ko Olina on Saturday -- but some volunteers will be around to clean up and shut down operations as late as Wednesday.