Posted: July 12, 2015 10:50 pm
When you’re organizing an event as big as the U.S. Women’s Open, it takes a lot of forethought to keep things running smoothly.
All that planning seems to have paid off for the Open at Lancaster Country Club. Spectators’ reactions to the event, which ran for a full week and concluded Sunday, were overwhelmingly positive, from the shuttle buses that brought them there to the helpfulness of the volunteers.
Jack Schuring of Lititz was one of the 2,350 volunteers who were crucial to the Open. He said volunteering has been a “wonderful experience” and that he’s pleased with the gold tournament’s execution. Schuring’s father traveled from Indiana to volunteer with him.
“It’s actually very well-organized,” Schuring said. “It could be chaos with 2,300 volunteers, and it seems to run pretty smooth.”
Schuring was designated to monitor the roped-off area around a tee box on the southeast end of the course and raised his arms with other volunteers when a player teed off. Volunteers’ responsibilities varied, from selling merchandise to washing the golf balls.
“There’s teams for everything,” Schuring said. “Each hole has its own team, in this case. … The USGA seems to let their team captains run what they need to run.
“They trust the people they have in charge,” he said.
Christine Fritz and Carolyn Siepiela from Holmesdale are no rookies when it comes to golf tournaments, having attended The Masters on the PGA men’s tour. That prestigious tournament sets the bar high in terms of organization, they said, but they were very pleased with their time in Lancaster.
Fritz and Siepiela said the shuttle bus operation was particularly fine-tuned. The women parked at Conestoga Valley High School, one of two shuttle sites for spectators. (The other being Park City Center.)
“They were just awesome,” Fritz said. “It was nonstop, well-run.”
Siepela said parking was easy, and the shuttles were just as timely on the way back.
“Really, going back yesterday, we just got right on the bus and went back,” Siepiela said.
Judy Erb of Ephrata said she also took a shuttle bus from Conestoga Valley High School. Her experience was just as pleasant.
“That’s been great,” Erb said. “It’s very timely, you don’t have to wait long. That’s been fun.”
Erb said the volunteers were helpful in giving directions around on the course. The only aspect that left something to be desired, she said, were the paths that spectators had to use to get from one part of the course to another.
“I think you can tell that there’s a lot of thought put into it,” Erb said. “The only thing I don’t like is the walk … up from the country club all the way around to get to the other side. You can’t go through behind 18 and the grandstand. That’s a little annoying.
“Other than that, I think they’ve done a really nice job.”