Meet Colleen Sholtes, Senior PGA Championship Standard Bearer

Dirty Job

There are about a bloody, blue million volunteer jobs at Valhalla this week and weekend for the Senior PGA Championship.  And, you can tell a volunteer is legit because they’re wearing a green shirt.  All cool and waterproof and all.

Standard Bearers, however, wear blue shirts.

The volunteers drive around in golf carts, are hole marshals (these are the folks who hold up the signs and their arms when a golfer is putting that essentially shush’s everybody) and line people who keep the fairways clear of spectators when the golfers are passing.   Then, there are the folks who direct traffic, wave you in to get a free pedometer at one of the many information booths.

But, one of the most visible volunteer jobs is that of Standard Bearer.

One would think this has some sort of best practice attached to it but the Standard Bearer walks inside the ropes with the golfers bearing the scores of the flight of golfers to which she is assigned.  It’s the closest one gets to the golfers unless you’re hawking a burgee and a Sharpie.

I ran into a high school girl with the muddiest wellies I’d ever seen in the PGA pro shop yesterday and I just had to inquire.  Colleen Sholtes will be a senior at Mercy High School in the fall.  Believe it or not, she plays on her high school golf team and is anticipating playing golf after high school, hopefully, Campbellsville College or Western.  She’s leaning toward Campbellsville because her sister’s already at Western.

Perhaps those muddy, muddy wellies are indicative of her wanting to make her own way.

She’s the walking scorer.  The mini scoreboard person walking around with a teeney little leaderboard so if the golfer you’re interested in isn’t on the big leaderboard or you’re walking with them so you never see the leaderboard, you know how he’s doing.

It’s one of those pedestrian (no pun intended) things about golf that’s made this such a nice way to play sports and be competitive for such a long while.

“It’s really fun and exhausting but such a great experience to be involved with the PGA,” said Sholtes.  … a great comment that might be recycled if she plays on the LPGA someday.

Sholtes has been playing on the Pepsi Tour – a junior golf tour for ages 8-18 while at Mercy.  She’s also turned in a few scoring sheets at the Musselman-Dunne Junior Golf Tour.

Sholtes said she went to the PGAs website and signed up and in a blind draw, she picked the Standard Bearer job, which is one of the good ones.  She’s got her cute green shirt a few free meals and an experience that keeps her close to the golf course even if she’s not playing.