GOLF, Ill. -- The Western Golf Association issued an invitation to golf fans to sign up for opportunities to serve as volunteers for this year's BMW Championship, Sept. 9-15, at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill.
Openings for 800 volunteers are now available in more than a dozen categories, including Admissions, Child Care, Marshals, Merchandise Tent, Practice Areas, Scoreboards, ShotLink, Standard Bearers and VIP Transportation, among others. These opportunities will be offered for a limited time, with preferences for assignments granted as available. Once the openings are filled, applicants will be placed on a waiting list.
Fans interested in volunteering may sign up by visiting the BMW Championship website www.BMWChampionshipUSA.com and clicking on the Volunteers tab.
One of the PGA TOUR's most prestigious events, the BMW Championship is the penultimate event in the FedExCup Playoffs. Its 70-man field consistently features many of the world's top players, including defending champion and world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, six-time champion Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Chicago's own Luke Donald.
"Volunteers are the lifeblood of the BMW Championship, enabling one of the most prestigious tournaments in golf to run seamlessly," said Vince Pellegrino, WGA vice president of tournaments. "With their support and dedication, we are able to further our charitable mission to support the Evans Scholars Foundation, which awards college scholarships to caddies from modest means. This year, we are building a high-quality volunteer team to help us create a world-class experience for fans and players alike at Conway Farms."
All BMW Championship volunteers receive a package that includes:
• Two BMW Championship tickets
• Golf shirt
• Wind jacket
• Hat or visor
• Commemorative pin
• Volunteer Credential, valid for entry all week
• Access to a hospitality tent with food and beverages on days volunteering
• Invitation to the Volunteer Appreciation Party
• Opportunity to buy additional BMW Championship tickets at a discount
The volunteer package, valued at more than $250, is just $85 for volunteers who are accepted for assignments at the BMW Championship. Volunteers are asked to be available to work two or three shifts of approximately six hours each.
"We expect the remaining volunteer openings will be filled quickly now that we are making them available to the public, so I would encourage anyone interested to sign up online at our website as soon as possible," said Pellegrino.
While helping to make the BMW Championship a success, volunteers get a behind-the-scenes look at tournament operations, along with a unique view of the players, PGA TOUR officials and the WGA operations team that makes it all happen.
"Volunteers get a perspective on the BMW Championship they can't get by watching TV or being at the tournament as a fan," Pellegrino said.
Perhaps most importantly, many volunteers find their first experience so enjoyable and rewarding that they return annually, building strong bonds with their fellow volunteers.
"As tournament organizers, we are very fortunate to have people return to volunteer in our events year after year," Pellegrino said. "Many do it to support the great cause of the Evans Scholars Foundation; others because they simply love golf, and others because of the friends they've made. For most, it's a combination of all three."
The 2013 BMW Championship will utilize a total of 1,500 volunteers, 700 of whom already are in place. This is the BMW Championship's inaugural year at Conway Farms Golf Club - located in the northern suburbs of Chicago - after two decades at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in southwest suburb Lemont. Last year's tournament was held at Crooked Stick Golf Club outside Indianapolis and was named "Tournament of the Year" by the PGA TOUR.
The WGA conducts four national golf championships: The BMW Championship on the PGA TOUR, the Hotel Fitness Championship on the Web.com Tour, the Western Amateur and the Western Junior.
To learn more about the WGA and ESF, visit www.wgaesf.org.
About Western Golf Association
Founded in 1899 to serve golfing interests in the growing Midwest, the WGA now has more than 400 member clubs. The WGA conducts championships for professional and amateur golfers, promotes the use of caddies and oversees the Evans Scholars Foundation, which awards college scholarships to caddies with limited financial means. The WGA is a driving force in the game, a respected charitable cause for thousands of supporters and a distinguished leader in the nation's golf community. Its premier golf event is the BMW Championship, the second-oldest tournament on the PGA TOUR. For more information on the WGA and ESF, call (847) 724-4600 or visit: www.wgaesf.com.
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KemperLesnik for the 2013 BMW Championship