INSTINET: Evans among volunteers looking forward to opportunity

‘I just like to be involved, and I’ve always enjoyed organizing things.’

By: Justin Feil
   It has been said that behind every successful man there’s a good woman. And, it could be said, behind most successful golf tournaments, there are plenty of good volunteers.
   Simon Evans can identify with both sayings. He is looking forward to helping the Instinet Classic run smoothly for the third straight year when it begins May 13 at the Tournament Players’ Club at Jasna Polana. He owes a large part of how he ever got involved in volunteering for the event to his spouse, Pam.
   "I’ve done it since it was the Instinet," said the Pennington resident of the tournament that formerly was played in Malvern, Pa., as the Bell Atlantic Classic. "My wife works in the golf shop. She got me involved when they had the Shell (Wonderful World of Golf Challenge between Hale Irwin and Tom Watson in 1999) here.
   "I got hooked doing it. Then, they asked me if I would do it again and chair a committee."
   And since the first Instinet Classic in 2000, Evans has been the chair of the runners/duplication group and standard bearers. They are two of the most important areas for keeping spectators aware of up-to-the-minute scores for each golfer.
   Volunteers within the runners/duplication division are in charge of taking scores from the ninth and 18th holes out to locations around the course.
   The standard bearers are needed to carry the placards with each players’ name in a grouping and his current score.
   Both committees consist mainly of teenagers. Originally, Evans was attracted by the idea of working with volunteers who could match his energy and enthusiasm and were close to the age of his own two boys. And he’s continued to enjoy it each year as he’s had an opportunity to work with different volunteers in his committees.
   "There’s a fair amount to do before the tournament," Evans said. "Just finding kids to do it is the main thing. About two-thirds of them are teenagers, but it’s not just kids. There are plenty of adults, too. For a while, though, we’re just trying to contact people so we can have enough people and then we work on just scheduling them.
   "On the days (of the tournament) themselves, we have a meeting and get the rules down. And then we make sure that we get them to the first hole and make sure they have the right names and everything. At the end, we make sure none of the name cards have gone missing."
   Two years ago, someone tried to walk off with legend Arnold Palmer’s name card, but Evans’ committee has a spotless record and has helped keep thousands of viewers informed throughout the first two Instinet Classics. For him, volunteering for the Instinet Classic is the ideal way to go one step above just watching it and get involved with organizing the event.
   "I’ve always done sporty volunteering stuff," said Evans, who grew up in England before moving to Pennington in 1989. "I’m happy to be involved with the action of the tournament. I like golf, but I wouldn’t want to go and just watch.
   "This way, I can go and see some of the golf. I ride around in a cart so I can see some of the top golfers. But I don’t have to watch golf all the time because there are other things to do. I just like to be involved, and I’ve always enjoyed organizing things."
   Evans is involved in database marketing in the Philadelphia area and the Instinet Classic allows him to extend those skills to help the event run smoothly.
   "I did that with rec soccer for my kids," he said. "I ended up helping out organizing it. I just like to get involved."
   Volunteering for it has become something he plans on continuing, as much because his wife is so closely associated with Jasna Polana as his own growing interest.
   "I don’t think I could say no now," he said. "I know I’d probably go see it. But I’d rather be involved."
   After helping out with a number of sports and sporting events, Evans has had such a positive experience in the past two years that volunteering for such events as the Instinet Classic has become something he looks forward to every year.
   "If the Instinet wasn’t there at Jasna Polana," Evans said, "I’d think I’d volunteer to do other tournaments in the area. I’d just want to stay involved."