This year’s 11th edition of the DP World Tour Championship has become the richest and one of the most prestigious tournaments in world golf. It’s also the most relaxed, friendly and enjoyable event on the global golfing calendar.
Much of the credit for the unique atmosphere of the season-ending climax to the European Tour year, at the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates, is down to the ‘Happy Band’ of volunteers who come from all corners of the world to ensure the enjoyment and smooth-running of one of golf’s greatest events.
Jenni Hoskins has been at the hub of the organisation as recruitment officer and manager of the volunteers’ team since the Championship was launched in 2009 when Lee Westwood triumphed at the inaugural event.
Jenni has perfected the operation to the point where she has a combination of experienced marshals and first-time volunteers, all of whom have a spectator-friendly attitude.
From July onwards Jenni’s volunteers start to anticipate a special Invitation from Chief Marshal Jenni to arrive, inviting them to return to the tournament they love.
Word also spreads throughout the communities of friends and families to join these enthusiastic volunteers at this wonderfully welcoming friendly event.
Jenni’s motto is: ‘Come and support each other and make friends.’ Volunteers travel to the DP World Tour Championship in many different ways: some plan their holiday around the event and stay with friends and family in Dubai and the UAE; enjoy one of the many hotels on the doorstep of the Championship; some find their work brings them to Dubai in November/December; some, living locally, have talked about nothing else since last year; some are invited friends and family who come out and enjoy the experience at first-hand; and others travel the world to volunteer for other tournaments – all in the name of golf.
A very special place
“I’m finding that my ‘Family of Volunteers’ want to bring their families and friends into the fold, having convinced them that they are definitely missing out on a wonderful experience! My reply e-mails over recent weeks from volunteers, expressing their longing to get back to meet up with all the friends they have made over the past 11 years.
“They can’t wait to get back to this extraordinary ‘Club’, which has now become a ‘Reunion of the DP World Tour Championship Family’ each November, creating a euphoria in the Lounge and around the golf course. It’s a very special place.
“They share together the sport they love, and they create a unique, friendly atmosphere. Now, by coming together with their families and friends, they can also share the long-term success of the Tournament. My Family extends to elderly mums and dads – there are no upper-age restrictions as long as they are allowed to travel and are fairly fit. I can find a job for most enthusiastic, committed and hard-working volunteers, brothers, sisters, sometimes the whole family! A large proportion of the volunteers are friends and family which makes for a great day out.
“The professionalism, attitude and friendliness of the volunteers spreads throughout the tournament week, embracing players and spectators alike. Their duties on the course also bring with it, another stream of next year’s volunteers – it’s infectious.”
The volunteers treat Jumeirah Golf Estates like a ‘second home’ with the comforts and caring that comes with the respect, appreciation and welcome they receive.
New volunteers are immediately taken into the family by Jenni and her Team, guiding them throughout the week to produce a job well done, leaving with a feeling of elation and joy – and a farewell hug, with next year’s return already in their minds.
Working as a Team
“My volunteers are very dedicated people who work hard but want to enjoy every minute along the way, supporting myself, my Team and especially each other, working together as one Team, with the joint aim of securing the event’s success.
“Then it is on to the Championship celebrations where they are able to release their built-up energy during Championship week and, more importantly, enjoy their time together with their ‘DP World Tour Championship Family’ before going home exhausted, but already eager to get back to the reunion that will take place at a similar time, same place, next year!”