CHARLOTTE – Doug Stiglmeier has a lot of fun on the golf course, even when he is not playing.
Stiglmeier, who is a retired Weyerhaeuser executive, loves golf and the Waxhaw resident hits the links almost 70 times a year. But Stiglmeier’s sticks were at home as he spent a busy week on the course at the Quail Hollow Golf Club as the PGA Tour Wells Fargo Championship was in town.
Stiglmeier was one of almost 2,300 people from 34 states volunteering their time to help the Wells Fargo Championship Tournament staff manage and operate the tournament. They act as marshals, hold walking scoreboards for each playing group, fill the coolers and provide snacks for the players, and provide transportation among their many, many duties.
Stiglmeier said the 2,300-strong contingent of workers are ambassadors for the week, with a goal of providing a rewarding experience for players and fans alike. And there is a cost to donating his time as he and the other ambassadors must buy their own uniforms, but a portion of that cost is donated to the tournament’s charities.
“It’s an awful lot of fun,” Stiglmeier said. “We are called ambassadors, and we are called that for a reason. We are ambassadors for what the tournament represents, as well as Wells Fargo.
It’s fun interacting with people. It’s a fun interaction with my fellow ambassadors as well as the guests.”
Like all the ambassadors, Stiglmeier takes his job seriously, just like he has done the two previous times he has volunteered his time at Quail Hollow. At this year’s tournament, Stiglmeier was part of a team at the par 5 No. 10 hole.
Over the course of the week, Stiglmeier served as a marshal along the rope line and was part of a team that worked the tee box, which has its own hospitality tent that includes a bathroom for players and caddies. He also spent a day around the green at No. 10 making sure things run smoothly.
“We have a system where we rotate from the tee box, to the drive (landing) area, to the green,” Stiglmeier said. “We rotate because it gives you a fresh perspective on the golf course. It keeps these old bones moving.”
On May 3 during the first round of the four-round tourney, Stiglmeier was the guy with the orange flag at the back of the tee box. After each drive, Stiglmeier would point his flag left, right or center, depending on the flight of a player’s drive. The first two days of the tournament, players start their round at No. 10 on at least one of those days and the players’ names are announced for fans before they tee off.
“I’m the flag man, I have a number of responsibilities and they are important,” Stiglmeier said. “I keep my mates down there safe. I let them know if the ball is going straight, right or left. When the announcers are there, I let them know that the drive (landing zone) is safe so the next group can tee off. That is why I wear a headset.”
Stiglmeier said helping keeping the tee box tidy is one of his favorite tasks.
“The best job is probably taking a broken tee that Ernie Els just broke on his drive, that Tiger Woods just broke on his drive and giving it to a young golfer that is standing on the other side of the ropes,” Stiglmeier said. “I tell them a little story on how they now have a momento of their golf hero. That is probably the most fun.”
Stiglmeier gets to interact with the world’s best golfers. He said it is too hard to pick a favorite.
“There are just too many to name,” Stiglmeier said. “There are just so many that interact with the customers outside the ropes. There are others that couldn’t bother. So, hats off to the players that speak to the children, that speak to the fans and make them feel engaged.”
“After answering that question, I will tell you this,” Stiglmeier said. “Phil Mickelson is a real gentleman.”