For one Edmond youngster, the 2014 U.S. Senior Open provides a unique opportunity to learn from top professional golfers.
Ethan Perry started playing golf when his parents shared their love for the game with their son. It didn’t take long for him to develop his own abiding feelings.
“I’ve loved it ever since,” Ethan said.
Today, Ethan, 13, is a member of the golf team at Sequoyah Middle School, part of the Edmond Public Schools system. Like other local youngsters, Ethan applied to be a volunteer for the Senior Open, which will be played July 10-13 at Oak Tree National. Practice rounds start Monday and continue through Wednesday.
“I’ve played golf for three-plus years and would love the opportunity to volunteer and walk 18 holes carrying a sign,” he wrote in his application. “I understand the importance of being quiet and have a general understanding for the rules of golf.”
Ethan is going to get his chance and will be a sign bearer during the tournament. The U.S. Senior Open runs Monday, the first day of practice rounds, through Sunday.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “I’m really honored to be a part of it.”
Ethan hopes to make the most of the opportunity. He said he enjoys the mental aspect of golf and the personal challenges the game presents. He hopes he can learn a thing or two while he’s watching the pros out on the course.
Cindy McCormick, Ethan’s mom, said she’s a casual golfer who learned the game from her parents. She said she is thankful that local youngsters have a chance to be part of the event.
“I think it’s an amazing opportunity for our local youth,” she said.
Brianne Miller, 2014 and 2015 U.S. Senior Open championship manager, said 2,000-3000 volunteers are generally needed for a championship. Junior volunteers are age 13-17.
If selected, they are assigned to a committee. The USGA asks that they work four days, and junior volunteers may work as standard bearers or in program sales. Duties of regular volunteers include staffing the volunteer headquarters and handling disability services, which include scooters available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“We really couldn’t do it without them,” Miller said.
Miller said volunteers pay a fee and get a package that covers the uniform — a windbreaker, hat/visor, credential for the week and meals during shifts. Uniforms are picked up at the volunteer appreciation party or before the first shift. Non-junior volunteers get a one-time discount in the merchandise pavilion. Before and/or after their shift volunteers are encouraged to watch golf as a spectator.
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