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Tales of the golf tournament volunteers, Furyk & Friends edition

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It takes a village to host a professional golf tournament.

Actually, what it took to make Furyk & Friends, which debuted last week at Timuquana Golf Club, run like clockwork is a small army of approximately 600 volunteers, some who took vacation or flew in just to work long hours doing such trivial but vital chores as parking cars, shuttling players, picking up range balls and sorting them, and hauling trash.

Week after week, year after year, many of the same faces greet me at tournaments and make my job and those of so many people they touch that much easier. I always marvel when they inevitably tell me this is their 25th or 30th year volunteering at a particular tournament.

Why do they do it?

I decided I was long overdue to give back at a tournament and find out. There was no better place to do so than at one of my hometown events. Over the years, I’ve noticed ways that charitable causes big and small in the Greater Jacksonville area have benefited from the generosity of the Players Championship, most notably at Nemours Children Hospital, where my daughter has received care.

On Friday, I did the volunteer pu-pu platter of sorts, partaking in short stints…

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