The 2022 PGA Tour season is underway and Scottsdale just hosted the largest golf tournament in the world. It's estimated that over 1 million fans stepped foot onto the grounds at TPC Scottsdale during the week of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The tournament and players get all the fanfare, but few are aware of the hard work that goes into prepping the course.
The grounds crew is typically comprised of 64 full time employees, but during the weeks leading up to the tournament the team grows by roughly 40. Volunteers from courses all over the country travel to help prep and maintain the grounds throughout the tournament. The experience helps some build their resume within the turf community while others come to learn new practices. These volunteer opportunities happen across the country for most large scale professional tournaments. Most volunteer once a year and then return to their home course where they work full time. It's why the turf community is so close knit.
We ran into Grant at TPC Scottsdale the Wednesday before the start of the Phoenix Open. He had just finished a 5 hour shift and was getting ready to fire up his dirt bike and head back to his RV. In talking with him, we realized he wasn't your average volunteer. He was on a much longer journey than most.
"Yeah I had this idea of volunteering on the grounds crew for 7 of the 10 PGA tour events held at TPC courses. The idea was 7 Tournaments in 7 Months"
Once he came up with the idea Grant began by calling the TPC Argonomy Department looking for approval. After months of back and forth, the TPC staff thought it was a great idea.
"It's kind of surreal that they approved it."
LIFE ON THE ROAD
Grant didn't have to make much of a lifestyle change to make this idea come to fruition. He has been living out of an 18 foot retrofitted 2002 Ford e450 box truck with his dog Archer for the past year in Richmond, Virginia.
Grant attended and graduated from the turf school at Virginia Tech and now works full time at Hermitage Country Club. He typically parks outside the local Bass Pro Shop and commutes to work each day . He tows his 2021 Suzuki dirt bike off the back of his truck which he uses to commute around. When the idea of hitting the road for 7 months became a reality it was an easy transition.
Grant hit the road in mid January and had worked at TPC Scottsdale 3 weeks leading up to the Phoenix Open. He's now on the road headed for TPC Sawgrass to help the crew prep for The Players Championship.
His Journey has only just begun.
Follow along on instagram: @glowery97
TOURNAMENT & WORK SCHEDULE:
TPC Scottsdale AZ, Waste Management Open – February 10-13 (26 Days of work here)
- Start January 19th
- Leave Feb. 15th
- Be in Florida Feb. 22nd
- Start work at Sawgrass the Feb. 23rd
- 7 Travel Days to Sawgrass
TPC Sawgrass FL, The Players Championship – March 10-13 (20 Days of work here)
- Leave by the 15th March
- Be in Texas by 20th March
- Start work at TPC San Antonio (Oaks Course) March 23rd
- 5 Travel Days
TPC San Antonio (Oaks Course) TX, Valero Texas Open – March 31-April 3 (12 Days of work here)
- Leave by April 6th
- Be In Maryland April 15th
- Start work at TPC Potomac on April 19th
- 10 Travel Days. The weekend and Monday to Find RV Parking
TPC Potomac MD, Wells Fargo Championship – May 5-8 (20 Days of work here)
- Leave by May 10th
- Be In Connecticut by May 14th
- Start Work at TPC Riverhighlands by May 19th
- 5 Travel days.
TPC Riverhighlands CT, Travelers Championship – June 23-26 (39 Days of work here)
- Leave by June 29th
- Be in Minnesota by July 4th
- Start work at TPC Twin Cities by July 8th
- 5 Travel days. 3 Days to Find Safe Parking
TPC Twin Cities MN, 3M Open – July 21-24 (17 Days of work here)
- Leave by 25th of July
- Be In Tennessee by July 31st
- Start work at TPC Southwind by August 2nd
- 7 Travel days
TPC Southwind TN, Fedex St. Jude Championship – August 11-14 (13 Days of work here)
- Leave by August
Total Travel Days – 48 Total Work Days – 147
Won’Make TPC Louisiana, TPC Craig Ranch, or TPC Deere Run