Below you can find an interview with our greenkeeper Paul Marley who has the opportunity to volunteer at the 2018 Ryder Cup in France, Le Golf National. Follow him in Instagram to get the behind the scenes report from greenkeeping point of view!
Q: Why did you apply to the Ryder Cup volunteer team?
A: Just to see whether I would be accepted. When I applied I was expecting a "no" answer, but I knew that if I didn't apply I wasn't giving them the opportunity to say "yes" to me either. The only thing that I was sure of, was that if I didn't apply I wouldn't be going.
Q: What are your expectations from this experience?
A: To be honest I'm not quite sure what to expect. I have worked at a couple larger events when I lived in Canada but nothing that comes close to the scale that the Ryder Cup will be. All I am hoping for is to spend a week in Paris networking and working alongside over 100 people who are passionate about greenkeeping and want to provide the best possible playing conditions to 24 of the world's best players.
Q: What are you most looking forward to?
A: The entire experience really. I want to take in as much as possible. See how a golf course is prepared for one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world. See the attention to detail that can be put into a golf course when you have over 100 greenkeepers working towards the same goal. And last but not least, just to be at the Ryder Cup. See the kinds of infrastructure that is needed to put on such a large event, and to see how over 60,000 people look and sound on a golf course.
Q: What will this experience mean to you?
A: Like they say at the big tv and movie award shows: it's just an honour to have been selected. But I hope to learn a great deal over the week about how to manage such a large group, what kinds of details can be looked after with such a large crew, and just how polished a golf course can really be. I also hope to make some good contacts within the industry, and who knows? Maybe I can volunteer at another major championship in the future.....
Follow me on Instagram to get a "behind the scenes" look at what happens at the Ryder Cup. I'm not sure how much I will be able to take pictures and post, but I will post as much as possible.