Harold Moag isn’t an ordinary volunteer. No, Harold is special. How special? The 2022 Wyndham Championship volunteer of the year celebrated his 96th birthday in August while volunteering at his 63rd tournament. When asked why he volunteers, his answer is, well, special.
“I’ve been part of volunteerism since I was a young boy,” Moag said. “I wasn’t interested in making a lot of money. I was interested in being successful, and I thought maybe the best way to do things was to volunteer and help others. I think it’s a great way to study people – that’s how you learn. You learn people’s skills, attitude and what you have to do for people to understand you and trust you.”
To say Moag volunteers a lot would be a monumental understatement. A salesman by trade, his 63-tournament commitment to the Wyndham Championship is only the beginning. Among the other beneficiaries of his generosity are the Second Harvest Food Bank, the Greensboro Aquatic Center and the ACC Hall of Champions at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Guilford College, Western Guilford High School and his Kiwanis Club. He used to volunteer for the Guilford County Board of Elections, but since 1998, his is a paid position as a precinct chief judge. It’s all about helping people. Second Harvest Food Bank is a perfect example.
“I got paid from 1995 till 2004, but there was no more money in that budget,” Moag said. “When I spoke to the executive director, they asked me keep doing my job but as a volunteer because I’d already laid the groundwork. I talked to my wife, Ann, and she asked me what I wanted to do. I said, ‘well, if it’s helping people who are hungry, and they aren’t going to be able to pay anybody, the people will still be hungry.’ I went back and told them I’d continue as a volunteer.”
After the 2022 Wyndham Championship, volunteer coordinator Val Edson brought Moag, a World War II veteran, to the 18th green for the trophy celebration, but before the Sam Snead Cup was presented to champion Tom Kim, executive director Mark Brazil introduced Harold Moag as the volunteer of the year.
“I had an idea, but I didn’t know it was coming,” Moag said. “I didn’t know it had been proposed that I’d be volunteer of the year. I appreciate the opportunity to do what I’ve been doing for years. It’s always been a joy to be there with the people and be a volunteer. I haven’t been doing the heavy work in the last few years, but I’m always there. I was president of the Old Timers back in ‘78 so we’re sort of expected to be there.”
And he’s been there since his first tournament in 1959 at Starmount Forest Country Club when he was in the Guilford College Jaycees. He was an “advance marshal” responsible for walking ahead of the leader’s group to remind the fans to be quiet and still. Eventual champion Dow Finsterwald was on the 17th hole hoping to take his two-stroke lead into the final hole.
“It was raining, the wind was blowing,” Moag remembered. “Finsterwald was taking his time. The caddie kept the umbrella over him until it was time for him to putt. He changed jackets three times. He had one under the umbrella and finally decided that was time to put on his last dry jacket. He made the putt, and about that time, a big gust of wind came. The umbrella Paul Vanstory and I were holding caught that gust and tossed both of us into the creek so I’ll never forget that tournament.
“One year when the tournament was at Forest Oaks in the late 1970s, we collected money from the concessions stands for the finance committee. We put it in bags and put them in the (golf) cart and took them back to finance. Later on, that way we handled the money got us in trouble. Someone who claimed he was a Jaycee from another town started picking up money and carrying it off. He did that for three or four years before they figured it out and got away with about $15,000.”
And then there was the time he hung out with comedian Jerry Lewis who was at Sedgefield to play in the pro-am but didn’t enjoy being with the people and later, the time Richard Petty stopped by and talked some NASCAR when his son, Kyle, was playing in the pro-am. Those are just a few of Moag’s countless stories from more than six decades volunteering. These days, he works on the fifth hole at Sedgefield with the Greensboro Jaycees Old Timers doing what he likes to call “noise reduction” – ever volunteering to make the Wyndham Championship experience the best it can be for the PGA TOUR golfers.
Gone are the days of serving as the public address announcer for football games at Guilford College and Western Guilford High School where his daughters attended and where he was proud to be on the call for the Hornets’ 3A State Championship in 1977. He still actively volunteers as a timer for ACC, NCAA, YMCA and USA Swimming events at the Greensboro Aquatic Center and serves as a docent at the ACC Hall of Champions.
Few things in today’s world are certain, but it’s a safe bet that as long as he’s able, Harold Moag will be volunteering at the Wyndham Championship. Harold, thank you!