If something ever were to go wrong at the Wyndham Championship, there is in fact a volunteer who just may be a bit more prepared than others to handle it. Jim Guidone, who volunteers with ShotLink on the 12th green, spent 13 years working with the Red Cross Disaster Relief Team, traveling across the country in response to natural disasters.
“I retired from corporate America in 2003 and said I wanted to get into volunteer work,” Guidone said. “It was all part of that volunteer mentality that I had adopted after retiring. I thought the Wyndham Championship was another opportunity to pay back a little bit.”
Guidone’s position on the 12th hole, along with all ShotLink volunteers, is very important in ensuring that a players’ ball is correctly located and positioned.
“I position myself on the green side on the 12th hole, which is a long par three,” Guidone said. “I confirm the shots the golfers make with their exact positioning either on or off the green.”
Each day during the tournament, Guidone is up before dawn, ready to volunteer.
“It’s a very early wake up,” he said. “0 dark 30 if I’m putting a full day in with the longer rounds on Thursday and Friday. I’m here at about 6:30 in the morning and leave around 6:30 at night during the weekend rounds.”
Enduring those early wake ups and long days requires a good reason. For Guidone, as a big golf fan, being close to the action is a step up from any other experience.
“It’s one thing to go to a golf tournament, and I’ve been to several,” Guidone said. “Those are always fun, but when you’re behind the ropes, and you’re part of the event, it’s a lot more meaningful.”
For 15 years, Guidone has been inside those ropes, yet his favorite memory comes from the 2021 Wyndham Championship. It took 14 years, but he finally saw a hole-in-one at Sedgefield.
“I hadn’t done the math to see how many shots were fired [in those 14 years], but it was a lot,” he said. “But it finally happened, which was great. It was very exciting.”
Another great memory involves a player — Sedgefield resident and member Alex Smalley.
“We had the chance to play in a Pro-Am last year with one of our local favorites, Alex Smalley,” Guidone remembered. “It was great to see him when he came by during the tournament. He gave a big smile and a wave. It was just great to root him on.”
With that, Smalley made a fan out of him.
“He was the most gentlemanly, nicest guy,” Guidone said. “He’s going to be a competitor this year. I think he’s the real deal.”
Along with Smalley, Guidone is also a big fan of 2011 champion Webb Simpson and World No. 15 Billy Horschel.
It’s noticeable that the golf — the players — are a big reason behind Guidone’s love for the Wyndham Championship, but that’s not all. To him, the environment and people here are next to none.
“The fan base here is amazing,” Guidone said. “They’re enthusiastic. They’re here for a good time, to cheer everyone on. I think Wyndham does a phenomenal job organizing this tournament. And the volunteers, the people that run the tournament, the whole volunteer network. Just a bunch of special people.”
Jim, here’s to hopefully more holes-in-one for you to see, and another great year at the Wyndham Championship. Thank you for all you do!