Published on November 30, 2017, at 7:43 p.m.
by Rachel Tomchin.
There is a lot that goes on behind the PGA TOUR to maintain such a large viewing audience, but what about the players, and better yet, their families?
One particular tournament that does a great job of providing a great experience for the players, their families and caddies, as well as attendees and other publics, is the Wells Fargo Championship, located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The tournament, which began in 2003, was initially known as the Wachovia Championship and is hosted at one of Charlotte’s finest country clubs, Quail Hollow Club. The Wells Fargo not only attracts golf enthusiasts and their families throughout the nation, but also a wide variety of people who are there for different reasons. Whether you choose to follow golf, entertain corporate guests or party with friends, the marketing and communication team wants fans to know you can customize your own experience at the tournament, according to Christine Lockett, director of digital communications, technology and project management at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Lockett says the tournament coordinators are there to make Charlotte home to the PGA TOUR for a week … and that’s just what they do. From sunscreen to housing, the Wells Fargo Championship has attendees covered.
Food and beverage
Concessions are located throughout the course, carrying refreshments from freshly squeezed lemonade to ice-cold beer and a large selection of local and national food. With so many alternatives, attendees are bound to find something they like.
Along with the regular grounds tickets, there are four packages available: Champions Club, Clubhouse, Executive Club and Executive Seats. Each allows access to different tents throughout the tournament, some which provide a catered buffet and unlimited drinks. The Wells Fargo Championship keeps its attendees satisfied whether they have a grounds ticket or one of the more premiere packages.
Not only does the staff provide fans with a wide variety of dining options, but they do their best to give the players exactly what they are craving.
“As far as food, we listen to [the players’] requests and make sure that [they] have healthy options. Grab-and-go type options that they can put in their golf bag if they want to, or if they want a hardy meal before they go out and play, they have that option, as well,” said Lockett.
Not only are they given fine dining in the clubhouse, but they also are provided with unlimited snacks in their locker rooms and player services area. The tournament is close to the South Park area, which is home to some of the best restaurants in Charlotte. Many of the players are seen dining at places like Del Frisco’s, Cowfish and Illios Noche in the evening. In order to reach the restaurants and the golf course, all of the players were provided with a Mercedes-Benz to drive throughout the week.
Volunteers and services
The player services area is for the players to hang out with their families, meet up with their agents or lounge in between rounds. With TVs, phone-charging stations and toys for their kids to stay entertained, the player services area keeps the whole family happy. The caddies have their own area as well, with food, restrooms and ping pong tables for them to use during down time.
However, it’s not just about the tangible aspects the fans and players enjoy while attending the Wells Fargo Championship; it’s about the experience they get from the hospitable people and welcoming atmosphere at the tournament each year, according to tournament organizers.
One of the most important parts of the tournament is “making sure [the] volunteers are excited about the event and given all the information they need to treat our patrons the best way possible,” said Paula Burnett, volunteer director of the Wells Fargo Championship.
Whether volunteers are working inside the player services area, credentials or will-call, they are making it a great time for fans, players and other volunteers with their excitement and enthusiasm, said Lockett.
Housing and parking
The Wells Fargo Championship makes it a priority to book the hotels and homes for the players who want to stay for the week and to make sure they are comfortable wherever that may be. Gwen Crow, the director of player services and Pro-Ams, is in charge of these accommodations. Families throughout Charlotte open their homes to players for private rentals, while other players stay in hotels around the city.
Many Charlotteans with homes surrounding Quail Hollow invite family and friends to park at their homes and host parties throughout the week in celebration of the event. Not only do players get priority parking at the tournament, but also the caddies get onsite parking, an appreciated perk.
“Something we thought was so important outside of the tournament is to pay close attention to how we treat [the players’] caddies. We were kind of the gold standard the first five or six years of our event of how the caddies were treated. Other events have now elevated their experience of the caddy, as well,” said Burnett.
It’s all about making the people on the PGA TOUR happy. With the amenities, hospitality and atmosphere provided at the Wells Fargo Championship, it shouldn’t be too difficult.