PGA Championship volunteer experience: It’s not free!

HAVEN – The PGA Championship is preparing to make its third visit to Whistling Straits.

Golf fans have a shot at being one of 3,000 volunteers at the 2015 event.

“From inside the media center, to marshaling a hole, to working on our transportation committee and inside the merchandise tent it goes on and on,” said 2015 PGA Championship Director Jason Mengel.

Here are the facts: Volunteers work a total of 16 hours. They will receive a uniform, preferred parking, food vouchers and the official PGA Championship program.

Volunteers will also get a personalized volunteer credential, which will provide access to the grounds for all seven days of the championship.

But there’s a catch.

“They do have a fee. It’s a $204 fee to volunteer,” said Mengel.

Mengel says it’s very common in the world of golf to pay a volunteer fee.

“I think it’s more about the experience of volunteering. So you think of it in terms of what you’re doing that week and you’re getting some great unique access,” Mengel said.

Mengel says the total volunteer package value equals about $600. And the fee, $204, is still cheaper than a weeklong grounds access pass, which costs $295.

Robin Williams, of Allouez, volunteered for the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in 2004 and 2010.

“It’s a good fun experience,” Williams said.

He says he’ll be back next year as a Hole Captain on Hole 2.

“You get to go inside the ropes around the green, you have close proximity to the players, you get to see them up close,” said Williams.

Not every volunteer position offers that opportunity, however, Williams says no matter what your assignment, paying for it isn’t unreasonable.

“A volunteer has a choice of whether they want to do it or not, so again, nobody’s forcing you to do it,” Williams said.

You can apply for volunteer positions for the 2015 PGA Championship online by clicking here.

It will be held at Whistling Straits Aug. 10-16.

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