Joyce McCabe is the AXA LPGA Volunteer Service Award for the Volunteers of America Classic nominee due to the bright attitude she brought to the course each day, as well as her do-it-all approach as a volunteer. McCabe served as a hole captain on the 2nd hole and worked in the tournament office, bringing over 50 years of volunteering experience to the fold at the Volunteers of America Classic.
Her volunteering history expands into many areas, from her church to the PTA at her two sons’ schools. Her journey into volunteering at golf tournaments began with her decision to pick up the game.
“I started playing when our youngest turned 16 and no longer needed a chauffeur, and everyone else was at the golf course. I decided to get in and join them,” McCabe explained.
McCabe was born in Kansas and stayed in the state to raise her boys, Eric and Mike. Both sons would find careers in various forms of golf. Eric turned professional in disc golf, going on to win the Frisbee Golf World Championship in 2010. Mike moved into golf course management, and is currently the general manager of Old American Golf Club at The Colony, the home of the Volunteers of America Charity Classic.
As McCabe began to play the game with her family, she blended her passion for volunteering with the sport. She worked as the assistant tournament director for the Kansas Women’s Golf Association, beginning in 2001, before becoming the head tournament director for one year in 2003.
That experience led her and her husband, Dale, to volunteer as hole marshals at the 2002 U.S. Women’s Open, which was held at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchison, Kansas. McCabe got to witness in person the two-stroke victory there by Juli Inkster, who is one of her favorite LPGA players.
“From following her when she was young, she (Inkster) was always really fiery. Was one of my favorites, always was. She’s done a lot for women’s golf and she’s a good one for people to look up to,” McCabe said.
McCabe’s experience with Inkster came full circle for her last year when McCabe’s then 12-year-old granddaughter, Savannah, was able to walk inside the ropes at the tournament. She followed Inkster’s group, and McCabe vividly remembers the scene.
“We’ve got a picture, with our son was standing there,” she said. “Kathy Whitworth was there, and she shook hands with all the girls. It was a very special moment. Her Mom was right outside the ropes. It was a family affair.”
That wasn’t the only moment when McCabe got the chance to be an appreciative maternal figure. Her proudest moment of the week was hearing the accolades from the various members at Old American about how positively they viewed her son Mike as their GM.
That pride extended to McCabe’s volunteer colleagues. The weather last year forced the tournament to be reduced to 36 holes but the team did not allow Mother Nature to affect their spirits.
“When I was volunteering in the office, the people there were really great to work with,” said McCabe. “They made it fun. The volunteers we had, they were all really enthusiastic. Very willing to do what needed to be done on the hole that day.”
In the eyes of senior event coordinator Lexi Wood, McCabe truly exemplifies that positive team spirit. “We are lucky to have people like Joyce who help make our tournament the best it can be, while representing everything our tournament stands for!” said Wood.
The AXA LPGA Volunteer Service Award program will designate a top volunteer nominee at each of the LPGA’s tournaments. At the conclusion of the 2019 season, the name of one volunteer will be drawn in a random selection. That winning volunteer’s tournament charity will be awarded $10,000 on behalf of AXA.
AXA XL, the property & casualty and specialty risk division of AXA, provides insurance and risk management products and services for mid-sized companies through to large multinationals, and reinsurance solutions to insurance companies globally. AXA XL proudly serves as the Official Property/Casualty, Reinsurance, Auto and Professional Liability Insurance Sponsor of the LPGA. Additionally, AXA XL has partnered with the LPGA on a season-long AXA LPGA Volunteer Service Award which recognizes tournament volunteers who have exemplified the spirit of volunteerism and gone above and beyond expectations. For more information, please visit www.axaxl.com