HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - The 53rd RBC Heritage is set to begin in just a few short weeks and as time winds down, volunteers are getting ready for the highly-anticipated event.
“They feel like they’re really part of the tournament and they are. We can’t do it without them,” said Mike Manesiotis, the General Chairman of Volunteers at the RBC Heritage.
Manesiotis says volunteers are the backbone of the tournament’s success.
“It’s been fun and it’s been rewarding,” said Martha Stichweh, the Chairman of Caddy Operations.
On Saturday, the nearly 1,200 volunteers picked up their shirts, hats, PPE and credentials for the tournament. Manesiotis says there are about 20 different committees that the volunteers can choose from to work with and each one represents the specific job the volunteers will have for the event.
“If they want to be inside the ropes and be a marshal they can be close to the players. If they want to work with children we have a childcare facility that we take care of the players’ children. If they want to transport the players, there’s something for everyone,” said Manesiotis.
He says even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic getting volunteers hasn’t been hard. In fact most volunteers come back year after year, like Stichweh who’s been involved with the tournament for 18 years.
“I would recommend it for anybody on this island to get involved with,” she said.
“We have a 90% return rate on our normal volunteers,” said Manesiotis.
Volunteers will be required to follow the various COVID-19 guidelines throughout the week. This year, a limited number of spectators are allowed and Manesiotis says this is what he’s most excited for.
“Seeing those fans enjoy themselves, that’s our main job,” he said.
The tournament will run from April 12 to the 18th at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island.