By J.P. McNaney
The 2023 3M Open, like every other PGA TOUR event, requires an army of people to come to fruition.
The TOUR and its players are obviously the main ingredients in a great tournament, but it is the volunteers that really finish the dish.
Over the years, thousands of golf loving individuals have given their time and talents to make the 3M Open (and its predecessors the 3M Championship and the Burnet Senior Classic) a successful professional golf tournament.
According to the tournament’s website, “Volunteers play a vital role in the tournament, serving as a lifeline that breathes excitement into its very existence. Without these selfless individuals, orchestrating a spectacle of such magnitude and ensuring its seamless execution would be an insurmountable task. From the tireless hours spent in planning to the electric atmosphere they infuse during the event itself, volunteers are the driving force behind every facet of this riveting tournament.”
Sponsored by Cub Foods, the 2023 3M Open is divided into five “distinct operational areas:” Activations and Events, Competition Support, Fan Services, Logistics and Operations, and Volunteer Services.
No one committee is more important than the others and no one knows that better than the Grand Puba of volunteers himself, Charlie Anderson.
Charlie started volunteering his time since the very first Burnet Senior Classic back in 1993. Soon after his entire family started pitching in culminating with his daughter Nicole receiving the PGA TOUR Champions Volunteer of the Year award in 2005.
In 2016, Tee Times featured the Andersons and their incredible story. Recently, we caught up with Charlie to see what was new with both the 3M Open and the Andersons.
Q: What compelled you to volunteer in the first place?
A: I was working at the original title sponsor, Burnet Realty.
Q: In your own opinion, how important are volunteers to any PGA TOUR tournament?
A: The players all say it, the tournaments would not happen without volunteers. This is so true. They are a critical part of the event. All the various committees serve important roles to ensure the success of the event. Charity is always the main goal!!
Q: How have things changed since the switch from the PGA TOUR Champions to the PGA TOUR?
A: 156 players that start the tournament, compared to 78 on the PGA TOUR Champions with not cut. We now have a cut, and 4 rounds vs 3, but to begin the tournament we, at least for scoring, need twice as many walk scoring volunteers than when we were a PGA TOUR Champions event. We are fortunate to have a great assemblage of walking scorers. We even have a few scorers that have been with us since the first event in 1993. They have gone from filling out players statistics during a round on paper, to now using the ShotLink system. An amazing progression for sure.
Q: What is your greatest memory (so far) over the years volunteering?
A: Establishing friendships with players and caddies. We all have many great player/caddy friends, that we keep in touch with throughout the year. Now that I am also doing tournament photography at some Champions Tour events, we still get to spend time with the legends at those events. It’s always great to see them for sure. I will never forget where we started all of this, with the Champions Tour back in 1993. Arnold Palmer became a good friend of the family back in 1997. That alone was worth all of the years, 31 years now. Wouldn’t change a thing.
If you are interested in volunteering for the 2024 3M Open, go to www.3mopen.com/volunteer for more information.