Golf Tournament Logistics

Inverness 2011 Senior Open -7127

wight Eisenhower said “Battles, campaigns and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics. A similar thought applies to running golf tournaments: players and scores aside, the success of a tournament depends on logistics.

As with my trip earlier this year to the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, I’m awed by how massive an operation running a major golf tournament turns out to be. There’s the matter of finding enough parking space, and the parking attendant volunteers; street crossing guards (local police); gate ticket takers and security; information booth staff; janitorial volunteers; medical staff for patrons; grandstand supervisors; food service; internal crossing attendants (opening and closing ropes to allow players to pass through crowds unmolested); golf course maintenance;errand runners; scoreboard personnel; golf shuttle drivers for the aged and infirm; and various facilities construction and maintenance workers (you see them driving past sometimes in carts laden with building materials).

On the player side, there are the locker room attendants; practice range assistants; sign carriers and a legion of rangers on every hole.There also are volunteers to drive around and restock the coolers beside very hole.

And that’s just the personnel. On the physical side, organizers have to figure out the number and locations of all the services—food, public safety and information; the location of foot paths (not always obvious) for ropes; the corporate pavilions; the hospitality pavilions; the shopping venues; and of course, the grandstands. Someone has to have an idea as to how much food and drink will be required; running out in the middle of the day would be a bad thing. Miles of cables need to be run—and that needs a strategy. TV camera towers need to be built. An entire communications system has to go online, with walkie talkies for hole captains, maintenance workers, scoreboard keepers, supervisors, and so on.

The porta-potties are all surrounded by fencing and green mesh to keep them from view. The grandstands are freshly painted green; the food service tents have potted plants out front.Generators churn away providing on the spot electricity, all hidden behind green fencing.

I’m quite certain that I’m missing a huge number of things here—these are just the ones I’ve seen and noted. I find it all mind-numbing to think about.

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