LPGA tournament volunteer Casey Case says her husband does not understand why she likes to stay as busy as she is.
But it should come as no surprise that a retired director at Verizon who oversaw business accounts and call centers in five states would want to do anything other than stay swamped.
The Baltimore native retired in 1996, moved to Leesburg, Fla., in 1997, and went to work as a volunteer at a number of Orlando-area golf tournaments, including this week’s Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions.
Case is the winning volunteer at the 2020 Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions and will be honored this week as one of the exemplary nominated volunteers identified at each LPGA tournament this season for the AXA LPGA Volunteer Service Award – presented at the end of the season.
“No matter how much work goes into a tournament, it wouldn’t operate without the hard work of volunteers,” said MacKenzie Meyer, tournament manager of the LPGA’s season-opening event. “Casey Case knows this firsthand, as she has been graciously volunteering for Diamond Resorts tournaments since 2016.”
“She has adapted to every new role thrown her way and seems to make everyone’s day along the way,” added Meyer. “Many of her peers recommended her for this award and we are thrilled to recognize her for all that she does.”
Serving as a committee chair with around 360 other volunteers at this week’s second annual LPGA-celebrity tournament, Case will oversee the event’s hospitality chalets, hospitality transportation shuttles, as well as the VIP hospitality in the clubhouse. The celebrity tournament was previously operated alongside the PGA Champions Tour.
But her volunteer career started five years ago when a pro-shop employee at her home course, Monarch Golf Club at Royal Highlands in Leesburg, told her about volunteering at the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando. Case and some friends headed over to Orlando to volunteer at that golf tournament and found they enjoyed the experience.
At the Arnold Palmer Invitational, she also met John Konicek, who has become a highly respected golf tournament volunteer organizer in Florida at numerous events. Konicek, who serves as volunteer chair of this week’s Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, connected with Case and knew he had found a reliable volunteer who could handle just about any task she was assigned.
“I have a corps of a couple thousand volunteers for all the tournaments I’m involved in and Casey is one of my go-to people because she is always there when I need her,” said Konicek, who was honored as the 2019 Diamond Resorts winning volunteer.
“If we give her something to do, she just tackles it and gets it done,” Konicek added. “We give her different committees every year and she handles everything professionally.”
Working with Konicek, Case has volunteered as a greenside scorer, hole captain and in player and celebrity registration and hospitality. In addition to the LPGA and PGA tournaments, she has volunteered with the Symetra Tour, at American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) events, at Florida PGA Section tournaments and with the PGA Tour’s PNC Father-Son Challenge event.
“I love to organize,” said Case, who plays golf twice a week, bowls in a league and works two days a week as the head teller at a Leesburg Wells Fargo Bank. “I’m in my glory running around scheduling, talking to my volunteers and figuring out where to put people to make them happy in our tournaments.”
Case is the kind of committee chair who not only tries to match volunteers’ interests and skill sets with needed tasks, but she’s also that conscientious lead volunteer who tries to make sure her helpers are happy.
“It’s a lot of organization and it’s important to let our volunteers know that we care for them,” Case added. “I don’t want to just stick them out there on the course and forget about them. We try to give them breaks and let them see some golf, too.”
That understanding and attention to detail is exactly what makes Case stand out, noted Konicek.
“She has a great personality, which is perfect in hospitality, and she knows how to choose the right people to help her,” said Konicek. “She’s one of those managers who really knows how to handle things and work with well with people.”
As people-oriented as Case had to be during her working career, she was reminded of the importance of treating others well by watching the late Arnold Palmer, as he interacted with fans, volunteers and the world’s top golfers during his tournament.
“Even as a great legend in the game, he would always smile and shake your hand,” said Case.
And now, directing volunteers at all levels of experience in golf, she reminds each of them why they are there.
“I tell our volunteers that we want to make our spectators happy,” she said. “And we also want our volunteers to have a good experience.”
While Case deflected attention as this year’s winning tournament volunteer and said she was “shocked” to be nominated, she also was excited to give her event a chance to win $10,000 for its charity, the Diamond Resorts Foundation. One volunteer from each of the 2020 LPGA tournaments will be entered into a random drawing, with the winning volunteer’s tournament named during the season’s final LPGA event.
“I volunteer because I enjoy it, but if I can help our tournament win $10,000, I would be very proud,” she said. “Any time you can bring in money for a charity, it’s good because they will put it to good use.”
And any time a tournament is held, it takes top volunteers like Case overseeing the behind-the-scenes duties that produce a quality competition for the players, as well as a fun event for spectators.
“I just look forward to the first day of the tournament because that’s when you know if all the work you have put in has turned out well and that people feel like they’re doing what they should be doing,” said Case. “We are constantly changing and adapting to whatever situation arises during the tournament week.”
But the constant is Case, who admits she “loves to have fun,” and wants each of her volunteers to have an enjoyable “low-stress experience” at the event.
“She’s always smiling and she greets everyone with a hug,” said Konicek.
And in the world of tournament golf, that kind of genuine welcome keeps both volunteers and contestants coming back.
The AXA LPGA Volunteer Award program will designate a top volunteer nominee at each of the LPGA’s tournaments. At the conclusion of the 2020 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