Caves Valley Golf Club
Owings Mills, MD
July 11-16, 2017

Marshal Training

Role of the Marshals The marshal committee is the largest of all Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship volunteer committees and is considered the most prestigious, due to the committee’s position inside the ropes. Members of the 2016 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship Marshal Committee will be responsible for marshaling the golf course Tuesday, June 7th through Sunday, June 12th. The basic function of the committee is to provide a fair and safe environment for the competition.

The committee will also be responsible for the following:

DIRECTING THE GALLERY – It is the marshals’ duty to politely instruct spectators to stand still or to be quiet when the contestants are playing. MAINTAINING THE PACE OF PLAY – Knowing exactly where each ball lands and eliminating “hunt” time will help keep the pace of play as scheduled.

MANAGING SPECTATOR CROSSWALKS – “Crosswalks” are paths that cross over golf holes. These paths will allow spectators to get from one side of a hole to the other more quickly than if they had to walk all the way around. The crosswalks are open when play is not going through and closed when play is going through. Operating the crosswalks (timing the opening and closing of each one without delaying play) is an important task for marshals.

OPERATING CONTESTANT ENTRANCE & EXIT GATES – It is important that a clear walkway is created for the contestants, caddies, and other authorized personnel walking from one green to the next tee. By extending ropes and clearing a path through the gallery, the marshals will allow contestants, caddies, etc. to move without interference or too much distraction.

WATCHING FOR BALLS THAT LAND OUTSIDE OF THE ROPES – When a shot is pulled or pushed into the gallery, the marshals will be responsible for alerting the gallery. For instance, they may yell “Fore on the right/left” in order to warn unsuspecting gallery. Once a ball has landed outside of the ropes and it is found, one marshal should stand by the ball, protecting it from spectators and accidental movement or removal. Another marshal should clear a path from the ball to the green. This all needs to be done quickly, preferably before the player reaches the ball, so that the pace of play in not hindered and the player is not completely distracted.

KEEPING THE ROPES TIGHT – The ropes, which line the golf course, will grow slack due to gallery leaning on them. Also, sometimes the stakes need to be taken out so a contestant can hit his ball back into play. Reinstalling stakes and making sure the ropes are stretched tight is up to the marshals. Each morning, before play begins, marshals should tighten any loose gallery ropes and straighten any stakes needing it.

INFORMING PATRONS OF SUSPENDED PLAY – Marshals will be responsible for clearing event patrons from the bleachers and then quickly seeking shelter themselves. A weather advisory will be shown on the scoreboards located throughout the course.

KEEPING THE SITE CLEAN – Although we will have a contracted waste company responsible for picking up garbage from the site, we expect marshals to help keep trash from inside the ropes. If you see trash on the ground, pick it up and dispose of it in the proper containers situated throughout the course.

CALLING FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE – Our Championship patrons are told in written communication that they should contact the nearest volunteer if they need medical assistance. As our marshal committee makes up nearly half of the volunteer team, we need to be ready to assist when called upon. Any marshal approached by a spectator, contestant, other volunteer, or anyone else and asked to seek medical assistance should immediately look for the nearest person with a radio. This may be the Hole Captain, Area Captain, Rules Official, Walking Scorer Volunteer, or someone else. They should have that person call for medical assistance. When doing so, remember the very important components of LINKS – Locate the need for assistance, Identify the specific situation, Notify dispatch or medical, Keep calm, and Support the victim.

CHANGING SHIFTS - Although every effort will be made to relieve marshals on time working only the early shift, please do not abandon your position until your relief is in place and you have turned over your marshal materials (locator flags, quiet signs, etc) to him/her. Due to the staggered arrival of late shift volunteers, it is not always possible to get your relief in place exactly on time. Please be patient and considerate. If you are working the late shift, please plan your arrival so you are at your hole and ready to assume your duties no later than the time specified as the start of your shift.

MEAL BREAKS - If you are only working one shift per day, please try to eat after your shift is over, or before it begins for those working the later shift. This will minimize the number of marshals away from the hole at any one time. If you are working the entire day, every effort will be made to get you a break during the designated lunch time period so you may eat and rest briefly before returning to the hole. We do ask that you be considerate of your fellow marshals and keep your time away from the hole to the minimum needed to get your meal and get a little rest. (Recommended no more than 30 minutes total time away)

Role of the Hole Captains

There will be a minimum of two Marshal Hole Captains assigned to each hole. The Hole Captains will work as a team to complete the necessary tasks related to organizing the marshals on their assigned hole. During Championship Week, at least one Hole Captain must be on each hole with their marshals at all times. Hole Captains may divide the day in two – one working the early shift and the other working the late shift. Or, they may choose to work offsetting days – one working Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and the other working Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The manner in which the Hole Captains divide their duties and schedules is up to them.

The Hole Captains working in the morning will be asked to stop at the Marshal Committee Check-In Area before they report to the hole. This check-in area will be located in the Volunteer Headquarters. At the Marshal Check-In Area, the Hole Captain will pick up the following items each morning:

  • A radio (to communicate problems and other info to Area Captains and Marshal
  • Committee Vice Chairs)
  • Ball locator flags
  • Directional paddle
  • Quiet signs

After the Hole Captain checks in, he/she will report to his/her hole to meet the hole marshals. The Hole Captain will be responsible for distributing the ball locator flags to all marshals assigned to the hole that day. They will also be responsible for collecting these items from the marshals when each marshal completes his/her shift for the day.

Every marshal on duty should wear the credentials on his/her outermost garment, so contestants and Rules Officials know who is on duty and approved to be inside the ropes. The Hole Captains should communicate in advance to all of their marshals where on the hole the marshals should check in for each shift. This could be next to the tee box, the green, or some other place on the hole convenient to all arriving marshals. The morning Hole Captain will give the radio to the afternoon Hole Captain when he/she comes to relieve him/her, if they decide to split the responsibilities each day. The marshals working only the morning shift will give their locator flags to the marshal relieving them when the shift change occurs.

At the end of the day, the Hole Captain on duty will collect the radio, ball locator flags, directional paddle and quiet signs and return them to the Volunteer HQ for use the next day. All marshal volunteers will report directly to their hole. They do not need to report to the Marshal Committee Check-In Area like the Hole Captains and Area Captains. At the beginning of each shift, the Hole Captain will assign marshals to the different positions on the hole. Hole Captains should rotate marshals around the hole every 45 minutes to an hour, to keep the marshals interested and alert.

THE #1 COMPLAINT OF MARSHALS AT PAST EVENTS HAS BEEN THAT THE HOLE CAPTAIN DID NOT ROTATE THEM OFTEN ENOUGH. Make sure you rotate your marshals, so they enjoy working the hole, get a chance to be in the “best” position at some time during their shifts, and want to come back for their next shift.

Role of the Area Captains

Each Area Captain will be assigned specific areas to monitor. They will introduce themselves to each of their Hole Captains and become familiar with them throughout the week. Like the Hole Captains, the Area Captains need to be familiar and knowledgeable of the Marshal Committee duties. If any of the marshals in an Area Captain’s territory are not performing their marshaling responsibilities as described in our training sessions, the Area Captain is to work with the Hole Captain to politely advise the marshal on how to perform their duty. For example, if the players’ tee shots are consistently landing 50 yards past the marshal, the Area Captain and/or Hole Captain should advise the marshal to reposition himself/herself such that the shots land between them and the starting point of the shot. This will make it easier for the marshal to spot the ball when it lands.

The Area Captains will be responsible for monitoring the crowd movement and flow. If a problem comes up on a hole, the Area Captain will work with the Hole Captain to adjust the marshal placements to varying locations in an effort to curb the problem. If that is not possible, the Area Captain will help out by acting as a marshal on that hole and radioing to the Marshal Committee Vice Chairmen or Reserves Captain for extra help and a solution. Basically, the Area Captains are problem solvers and troubleshooters. By keeping a close eye on the activities and movement in and around their territory, they should be able to identify and remedy potential trouble spots before they become such.

One Last Thing to ALL

Thank you very much for volunteering and for taking the time to read through this guide. It is only through the efforts of volunteers like you that these tournaments can be successful. Please enjoy yourselves at the 2017 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship both while on duty and off.