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Caves Valley treated tournament volunteers (and spectators) poorly | READER COMMENTARY

Golfer Joaquin Niemann leaps over a creek after looking for his ball in the rough near the 18th green during the second round of the BMW Championship golf tournament on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Golfer Joaquin Niemann leaps over a creek after looking for his ball in the rough near the 18th green during the second round of the BMW Championship golf tournament on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (Nick Wass/AP)

Although Bill Jones, CEO of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, is probably correct that the recent BMW Golf Championship will likely benefit Baltimore, Baltimore County and the state of Maryland, I think his congratulations and thanks should be tempered with some information about the shabby way the tournament volunteers — and to some degree even the spectators — were treated in my experience (”Kudos to Caves Valley for hosting PGA Tour championship,” Sept. 3). Club officers and tournament officials bragged on TV about the 2,000 volunteers who were working at the tournament. I’d venture that many of them will think twice before signing up to volunteer at this event again.

For example, despite the scorching hot temperatures, no one appears to have placed water at each hole for the volunteers. Water was provided for players and caddies, but volunteers on duty were not free to leave their posts for as long as it would take to go to the volunteer tent for water, nor were they allowed to take it from the players’ coolers.

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And shall we talk about parking? At other Caves Valley tournaments, volunteers parked directly across from the entrance to the club. At this tournament, volunteers had to park at Stevenson University and take a shuttle bus to the entrance. On the first day of the tournament at least one driver was not familiar with the route and had to return to the lot — with his passengers still on board — to go over the route. Otherwise a volunteer could get dropped off at the “ride share” lot and take a 20-minute walk to the entrance, once again in the scorching heat.

As for the spectators, they were also prohibited from parking anywhere close to the club. Instead, they had to park at the Metro lot and take a shuttle from there. However, even though they had purchased a ticket to the tournament, and even though the Metro lot is otherwise free, tournament goers had to register their cars and pay an additional $20 to take the shuttle to the club. And that lot across from Caves Valley? That was reserved for BMW drivers, and even they had to register their cars for the privilege of parking there.

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Caves Valley can and should do better.

Claire Hoffman, Lutherville

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