“It’s for the thrill of being inside the ropes at a professional sporting event”, stated KPA Vice-President Dr. Joe Annicharico. You hear it advertised on every broadcast of every tour event, the tournaments could not take place without the efforts of the volunteers. The PGA, LPGA, Champions, and Celebrity Tours all rely on the hundreds and sometimes thousands of volunteers to provide assistance to spectators, marshall the fairways and greens, and score and keep statistics for the tours players.
As a walking scorer for the past 6 years, Joe has walked the links at Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines, La Costa, Aviara, and Newport Beach to name a few. He has kept score and stats for multiple hall of famers in multiple sports and even Olympic champions.
“I have been very fortunate to score for players such as Tom Kite, Justin Thomas, Christie Kerr, Mike Erozione, and Caitlyn(Bruce) Jenner,” said Joe. “They are very appreciative for the help the volunteers provide at each tournament.”
During play, Joe walks inside the ropes with the professional player and records a wide range of statistics and their scores on a hand held computer device that submits the input directly to tour scoring officials. The scores and statistics posted on screens at the events and on TV come directly from the scorers. It is an unpaid position, one actually pays a fee to receive an official shirt, hat, and jacket, that provides the tour some of the tremendous amount of data collected at each event.
At the Farmer’s Insurance Open, held each year at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, CA, Joe walked and scored on the newly renovated North Course for the opening rounds. In different rounds he volunteered and scored for Marc Leishman and Graham DeLaet, both went on to win subsequent tournaments on the tour after Torrey Pines. “The Farmers is such a huge tournament with over 1000 volunteers to pull the event off,” remarked Joe. “It is really incredible what it takes behind the scenes for a professional tournament to occur,” he said.
“I stay out of the way so as not to be a distraction to the players. It’s their office, workplace, so I am respectful of that. But when they need a rules official, I am on the ready to call for one. It’s an exciting place to be inside the ropes!”
Dr. Joe Annicharico,