U.S. Women’s Open at Olympic Club: Not Your Traditional Service Staff
March 9, 2021
By Rick Woelfel, from Golf Course Industry
When a course holds a major championship, it’s part of the norm for the host venue to bring in some help with course maintenance, usually in the guise of neighbor superintendents.
For the upcoming U.S. Women’s Open (May 31-June 6), The Olympic Club Director of Golf Maintenance Troy Flanagan is going the non-traditional route. He instead plans to supplement a staff of 43 with 50 outside advisors–about 25 to 28 of whom will be women.
Flanagan, who has been at The Olympic Club since 2014, began contemplating the idea of involving more females around five years ago, after the club was officially designated as the host of the championship.
“I just started thinking, ‘What a great thing to do,’” Flanagan said. “We have the Women’s Open, it’s our first women’s professional golf championship at The Olympic Club, we’ve had so many great (championship events) over the years.
“‘Why wouldn’t we want to do something like this?’ And not just make it a service experience but make it another kind of educational/networking event. Being able to assist, and help out, but then during the day, do other things as a unit.”
Flanagan is envisioning a week that will see the women not only assisting with the tournament but also taking advantage of educational and networking opportunities.
“The whole thought was they would volunteer in the morning,” Flanagan says. “Each late morning or afternoon it could be one of three things. It could just be a fun day, go out and watch golf, relax. It could be a networking day, a day where they hear from a speaker.”
Potential speakers could include two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, former LPGA Tour player and now television commentator Kay Cockerill; Marissa Mar the club’s green committee chair; and 2012 U.S. Curtis Cup captain and veteran amateur competitor, Dr. Pat Cornett.