THE BLADE/ZACK CONKLE Enlarge | Buy This Image
Ken Hawley of Napoleon has been an avid golfer for most of his life.
After retiring as the Napoleon Schools superintendent in 2003, he's spent most spring and summer days playing at least one round of golf.
"As a retiree, I play golf every day," Hawley said.
The 67-year-old's passion for the game led him to volunteer for the 2011 U.S. Senior Open held at Inverness Club.
The experience of working during the week of the Senior Open inspired him to get involved with the LPGA's Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, taking place at Highland Meadows Golf Club this week. He's serving as a marshal and is assigned to be in charge at the No. 8 hole.
"It's different than watching it on TV," Hawley said of working at a tournament. "You're part of the action as a volunteer. Being a marshal allows you that."
Heather Warga is the volunteer coordinator for the Farr Classic. It's her job to coordinate all of the volunteer groups that work on making the tournament accommodating for LPGA officials, players and spectators.
Warga said an average of "1,000 to 1,100" volunteers are utilized throughout the week of the Farr.
"We really rely on them to do so much during the tournament that it would be impossible to pull it off without them," Warga said of the volunteers, most of whom are northwest Ohio residents.
Hawley was a marshal for the No. 2 hole at Inverness during the Senior Open. With one tournament as a volunteer under his belt, Hawley understands his role heading into the Farr.
"As a marshal you have to pay attention to what person hits the ball," Hawley said. "We rotate from the tee to the side to the green. We're responsible for crowd control by raising our hands."
THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER Enlarge | Buy This Image
Toledoan Phyllis Wadley has been involved with the Farr as a volunteer for nearly 20 years. The former Toledo Public Schools employee, who retired from Scott as an assistant principal in 2002, says the week of the Farr is something she looks forward to being a part of every summer.
Wadley is working in the clubhouse this year serving as the director of food services for the players and LPGA officials.
"I like doing it because I like to play golf and I like to see the [LPGA] golfers play well," Wadley said. "When I get a chance, I go out and see them, even if it's just to see them putt."
Wadley is required to show up daily at Highland Meadows around 5 a.m. and normally stays until at least 10:30 a.m. Her primary responsibility is to make sure food and beverages are readily available for the golfers who come through the players-only dining area during breakfast and lunchtime.
Peanut butter, apple juice, grape juice and water are typically the most requested items by the players, according to Wadley.
"The key behind all of this is to make sure the players are happy," Wadley said. "You've got to have happy players and happy LPGA officials to assure they come back."
Steve Lick's role as a volunteer doesn't allow him much time to step into the clubhouse. He's served as a roving director during the last three Farrs and it's a job that calls on him to serve as field marshal with the tournament leaders or pairings that attract the largest galleries.
This requires him to walk the entire 18 holes, sometimes under intense summer weather conditions with temperatures in the 90s.
Yet, Lick gladly accepts whatever the conditions he's faced with during the week of the tournament.
"It's such a fun time out there working with the people and being out there," said Lick, 37. "It's a blast and I love golf."
Lick, who has worked on the past seven Farr tournaments, was inspired by his dad, Dave, to volunteer for the local LPGA event. The elder Lick has been a volunteer for the tournament since the 1990s.
Steve Lick believes he has one of the best volunteer jobs during the week.
"I love it because you're always with the leaders or you get to be with a Michelle Wie and with someone popular like Natalie Gulbis and walk with them through the course and see the whole course," he said.
Taylor Gibbs, at age 19, is the director of the volunteer tent, handling operations there. It's an air-conditioned tent between the first and 10th fairways with food and beverages supplied solely for volunteers.
Gibbs, who is volunteering at the Farr for a ninth year, has worked at the tournament dating back to when she was in the second grade. She's volunteered in the past as a runner, standard-bearer and as an assistant in the media tent.
The University of Toledo sophomore considers her latest position as perhaps the best of them all.
"I've always been looking forward to this role, probably since I was 16," Gibbs said. "I couldn't be more honored."
Recruitment each year for Farr volunteers begins almost immediately after the completion of a tournament. Fortunately, many return.
"We have a lot of people who have been doing it for quite a while," Warga said.
And many of them don't look to stop anytime soon.
Contact Donald Emmons at: email@example.com, 419-7824-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.