Volunteers from around the world gear up for Myrtle Beach Classic

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Excitement is teeing off in Myrtle Beach as thousands will make their way to the Grand Strand for Myrtle Beach’s first ever PGA tournament.

The Myrtle Beach Classic isn’t only drawing in golf enthusiasts from around the nation, but also a dedicated group of volunteers.

It takes a lot of time and effort to put on an event of this size, and while work has been put in for several months, volunteers are the unsung heros, ensuring everything runs smoothly.

“I’m pretty excited about it. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Jean-Ann Baranik, a volunteer coming from Canada.

Darren Nelson, the tournament director, said within eight hours of registration opening, 1500 people signed up to volunteer.

“It just shows you the golf capital of the world responded when we reached out for volunteers for this event,” Nelson said.

Another volunteer, Larry Hostetler, is an avid golf fan and a Vietnam veteran. He worked 14 years as a volunteer on the senior tour in Birmingham, Alabama, and jumped at the opportunity to volunteer for the Myrtle Beach event.

“I was really surprised and happy to see that they chose Myrtle Beach, finally, to have a tournament,” he said.

To top it off, Hostetler will celebrate his 86th birthday on May 8, the Wednesday of the tournament.

“I don’t know how it worked out that way but, I’m going to be doing something that I love,” he said.

While some volunteers are from the area, others are coming from thousands of miles away.

“There was a thousand volunteers between North and South Carolina, and about 450 from different states in the United States, and just two from Canada, and we’re the two,” said Harry Baranik, a volunteer from Canada.

Coming from Ontario, Cananda, the Baraniks are excited to take part in the event, especially because of how the PGA gives back.

“The PGA gives so much back to communities. You see that on all their tournaments,” Baranik said. “We like to give back to our communities.”

With such diverse backgrounds, the volunteers at the Myrtle Beach Classic are as varied as the game of golf itself. Their love for the game and the area are what truly brings the event to life.

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Gracie is a multimedia journalist at News 13 and is from Cleveland, Ohio. Gracie joined the team in June 2023 after graduating from the University of Alabama in May. Follow Gracie on Facebook, Instagram and X, formerly Twitter, & read more of her work here.

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