|PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLa. – Longtime Wyndham Championship volunteer Paul Brown was honored at the PGA TOUR’s Tournament Meetings on November 20 as the 2019 PGA TOUR Volunteer of the Year. With the award, the PGA TOUR will donate $5,000 to Brown’s charity of choice, The First Tee of the Triad, a non-profit organization teaching kids (aged 7-18) valuable life skills and essential character traits through the game of golf.
Brown has volunteered at the Wyndham Championship for over 20 years, most recently serving as a Gallery Control Marshal and Hole Captain at Sedgefield Country Club’s 16th hole. His efforts are not restricted to tournament week, as he supports the tournament staff throughout the year by assisting in multiple office needs, including conducting surveys on how to improve the tournament. The Wyndham Championship is just one of several Piedmont Triad events to which Brown donates his time.
“This is wonderful news for Paul Brown and the Wyndham Championship family,” said Wyndham Championship Tournament Director Mark Brazil. “Paul is very deserving of the PGA TOUR Volunteer of the Year honor. He loves our Piedmont Triad community and shows it through his volunteerism with the Wyndham, the Greensboro Sports Foundation, the Greensboro Aquatic Center, the Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets NBA G-League) and many other community activities. Congratulations to Paul and his wife Charlotte on this special recognition.”
Tournaments would not be possible without the support of volunteers, who not only help the event operate, but also contribute to the overall charitable impact. With the support of more than 100,000 volunteers annually, the TOUR assists approximately 3,000 charities each year. In 2018, the PGA TOUR and its tournaments generated a record $190 million, bringing the all-time total to $2.84 billion.
“This is an absolutely overwhelming honor,” said Brown. “When you think of the thousands of volunteers on the PGA TOUR who serve in the trenches, for me to be singled out in this manner is something I’ll never forget. But our event is a team effort, and I accept this award on behalf of all of volunteers and tournament staff who help make the Wyndham Championship one of the TOUR’s premier events.”
Soon to be 85 years old in January, the Minnesota native is no stranger to sports, having worked for 45 years as an official for football, baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer. His wife, Charlotte, also an avid golfer, is heavily involved in dog shows, having served as a superintendent at the Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden.
The 2020 Wyndham Championship, won this year by J.T. Poston, will be held Aug. 4-9 at Sedgefield Country Club.
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After being named the 2017 Wyndham Championship Volunteer of the year, Brown was featured in the Wyndham Championship program the following year. The program story is below:
Paul Brown: 2017 Wyndham Championship Volunteer of the Year
Paul Brown might just be the most enthusiastic volunteer on the planet – whether he is or not, the Wyndham Championship is fortunate to have him on the team. The 2017 Volunteer of the Year is a native of Minneapolis who moved to the Piedmont Triad from Oklahoma City with his wife, Charlotte, in 1999 after he retired from AAA Fence Company. It didn’t take long for him to identify the Wyndham Championship, then called the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic, as an event that interested him.
“In retirement, your everyday life changes from the same constant daily effort like earning a living to all of a sudden you find yourself with lots of time on your hands,” Brown, 83, said. “Why not volunteer? So, what do I like? Golf – that got me started. I have been involved in golf one way or another since I was a small boy in Minneapolis working as a caddie at Theodore Wirth Public Golf Course. I worked my way into being a marshal and then on to working as a hole captain at Forest Oaks then on to Sedgefield. It gives me a purpose to wake up each morning and know that I have things to do. I feel this adds to our life cycle. It keeps me fit and alert, and it also gives me a front- row seat to athletic achievement like the three holes in one we saw on 16 last year.”
The consummate volunteer, Brown began as a ball spotter on the 16th hole at Forest Oaks with the Knights of Columbus group. Two years later, he was promoted to hole captain at the par three 12th hole. When the Wyndham returned to Sedgefield Country Club in 2008, Brown and his team were asked to handle holes 15 and 16. No matter the challenge or task, Paul Brown is up for it – this man simply loves being a Wyndham Championship volunteer.
“My favorite part is working with all levels of people that provide hours of hard work just for the love of the game and being on course to see that the players and fans work as one,” Brown added. “Asking the fans to be quiet when needed and controlling their movement so the players can play their game is a lot of fun, and helping new marshals to the great game of golf each year has also been rewarding.”
This hole captain takes his volunteer task extremely seriously. He provides donated door prizes for members of his team, and following the tournament each year, distributes a survey to get their opinions about what worked and what didn’t, what was good and what wasn’t. In addition, he recruits others to join the Wyndham Championship volunteer team because he believes in the tournament, he enjoys what he does, and he wants others to experience the hospitality volunteers enjoy while working the Wyndham.
“It is important to provide excellent perks for those that volunteer their free time. Wyndham has done a great job in providing those perks – wonderful uniform, good-any-day tickets, free parking, shuttle bus from the parking lot to the golf course, quick cart ride to assigned hole, lunch every day (great buffet on Monday and Tuesday), multiple snacks and liquid refreshments morning and afternoon. It is all topped off with this important aspect of being a gallery marshal – you work when you want, and you work inside the ropes – within inches at times of the BEST GOLFERS IN THE WORLD right here in good ole Greensboro, North Carolina. Hard to beat!”
The Wyndham Championship isn’t the only place Paul Brown volunteers. In fact, the list of entities that benefit from his generosity is quite long. He supports the ACC Women’s Golf Championship, the Wyndham Invitational AJGA event, the NCAA Men’s Division II & III Golf Championships, the ACC Hall of Champions, the Greensboro Coliseum; U.S. Kids/Teens at Pinehurst, Greensboro Aquatic Center (timer), the Greensboro Swarm NBA G-League team, the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and Greensboro Convention & Visitors Bureau. He also volunteers for the Guilford County Board of Elections as a coordinator and rover of appointed precincts during primary, general, municipal and special elections.
“I’m very proud to have been named the volunteer of the year,” Brown added. “But I didn’t win this award on my own – I had help from a lot of people: my wife, Charlotte; fellow hole captains Dan Filip, Jim Gilkinson, Bill Dreshfield and Mark Wood; Walter Kromm (2008 volunteer of the year); Kellie Rhoney, Dare London, Bobby Powell and Mark Brazil (Wyndham staff); Reed Hennessy, Catrina Hennessy (gallery control); Lee Owens (standard bearer) along with the 630 volunteers I’ve worked with over 18 years’ service. WOW!”