Volunteer … Think green lawns, sandy bunkers, legendary pros, media, eclectic crowds, divine landscapes, ponds with swans and boats, and waterfalls, all christened with rain, turning a week of volunteerism at the PGA TOUR® Champions Bass Pro Shops® Legends of Golf® at Big Cedar® Lodge into a stellar event, played on premier courses at Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge.
Volunteering, Not for Wimps
Volunteer at Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf Tournament for a rewarding, yet challenging adventure. For starters, it’s mid-April, and you feel like Goldilocks. It’s either “just right,” cold, or rainy. Or as one volunteer said, “I felt like a Popsicle.” Also, the crowd and the players are a tad intimidating at times. If you work the tournament, you can’t watch the golfers unless you have a free day or find yourself assigned to the course with a good viewpoint of the players. And, golf is played on a golf course, which means hiking over pathways and golf cart paths. As well, standing in the middle of a golf course for hours can be solitary. Most importantly, if you are a shutterbug like me, taking photos is prohibited while on duty. Well, that pretty much sums up the whining.
Why I Volunteer at the Tournament
Friends and family chuckle that I volunteer because it cost $50 and it takes 3-5 days of my personal time. Some may think I like the paparazzi, but – no. Volunteering for me is the big picture of what this extraordinary tournament brings to me personally and to our area and the sport of golf.
- Supports Missouri tourism and conservation efforts of Johnny and Jeanie Morris and the Bass Pro Shops.
- The tournament is held in April, my birthday month, and it’s a gift of entertainment to me.
- Love the color green, and April and May sprout the most beautiful greens in the Ozarks.
- Love the outdoors. The gardening and horticulture at Top of the Rock is majestic.
- Always something new and exciting. This year Kid Rock played in a Skins Shootout with Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Lee Trevino. You had to be there.
- I volunteer to celebrate the efforts of Johnny Morris to make golfing a premier event in the Ozarks. Golf gained Olympic prominence at the 2016 Games in Rio.
- I like crowds and meeting interesting people.
- Top of the Rock overlooks Table Rock Lake, an idyllic setting.
- Volunteers add to the success of the tournament.
- The tournament gets more exciting each year (Johnny Morris recently announced his purchase of the Legends of Golf franchise for another four years.)
- It’s meritorious to volunteer at this prestigious golf tournament that not only celebrates golf but also raises money for education at College of the Ozarks.
I was there: 2017 Tournament, April 19-23, 2017 – Top of the Rock
Golf is Only the Half of It ….
Cory Cotton, Twin #2 of Dude Perfect, was on stage Saturday to demonstrate golfing tips for fans. It was cold and drizzly, but no one seemed to care.
The tournament provides opportunities for area civic and business organizations to support golf and tourism. This year Branson Chick-fil-A surprised attendees at the gates with free, warm, yummy chicken sandwiches.
Entertaining Tournament Golfers
When not golfing, competitors are treated to bass fishing with pro fishermen on Table Rock Lake, skeet shooting at Bass Pro Outdoor Academy, and fly fishing for trout at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park.
Golfers’ families are entertained as well. This year wives were hosted to a luncheon followed by an acrylic painting class at College of the Ozarks. Table settings included an art glass souvenir of a painter’s palette, crafted by the C of O students.
- The tournament is an ideal time to see the golf course and all its beauty.
- Volunteers receive free access to the tournament and a Gold Pass for a guest – for the duration of the tournament.
- Volunteers are in the thick of it, and often have opportunity to meet legendary golfers.
- Volunteers are honored at a post-tournament dinner with prizes and awards.
- You are part of something bigger than yourself.
Following the tournament, Johnny Morris and tournament chair hosted a Famous Dave’s BBQ dinner with Bluegrass to thank volunteers.
A table piled with goodies welcomed us. I chose a fishing reel by Berkley/Abu Garcia! Score.
And Johnny Morris signed a golf ball for me, a souvenir from the Pro-Am.
Another evening highlight: Johnny greeted volunteers, shaking hands and chatting with us. He asked for our continued support as he works to curate the resources of the area into a golfing destination for families.
BONUS GIFT: Volunteers were gifted with their choice of either golf for them and a guest to play 18 holes at Top of the Rock or Buffalo Ridge or a pass to Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. Hip-hip-hooray!
Bluegrass and BBQ for Volunteers
Register to Volunteer in 2018
On October 15, 2017, register to volunteer at the Legends website for the 2018, PGA TOUR Champions Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf. Be the first.
Save the date: April 16-22, 2018 – the next Bass Pro Legends of Golf Tournament. As always, the tournament will host events and activities on a grand scale. And pack your rain boots in case of April showers.
More to Come from Bass Pro …
Big Cedar Resort opened Fun Mountain on Labor Day 2017 with a golf simulator, laser tag, bowling, arcade, bumper cars, rock wall, pool table, restaurants, and more.
In 2019, the Tiger Woods designed Payne’s Valley opens. It is the first public-access golf course in the U.S., thanks to Johnny Morris, Tiger Woods, and the Payne Stewart Family, who partnered to make a dream a reality.
And ready for the 2018 golf tournament, Johnny Morris’s Wonders of Wildlife opens Sept. 21, 2017, in nearby Springfield.
On the drawing board: Arnie’s Lodge at Top of the Rock.