PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — She doesn’t even play golf, yet for months on end every year, she is at TPC Sawgrass preparing for The Players and helping organize hundreds of volunteers.
Nancy Nichols has been a volunteer for 45 years. The Players has only been around for 47.
It’s been like a marriage for the two: Nancy Nichols and TPC.
“It can be a heck of a lot of work," Nichols said. "As you move up your responsibilities (and) different committees, it becomes more involved and it takes more time but I just love it.”
Her volunteer career lasting longer than most marriages do.
“Why keep up the punishment for 45 years?" Nichols joked. "Well number one it is fun!”
She began volunteering through her work doing low-level duties that help keep the event running smoothly.
“I don’t kid when I say we had to count hot dog buns," Nichols said. "I can’t say I saw much golf that year.”
Nichols moved her way up to Chairman of Gallery Management which oversees the volunteers who manage the crowds.
“I’ve had people say you’re crazy! All that time and as a volunteer. But it’s worth it. It really is," she said.
She will spend 80 to 100 hours volunteering just this week alone.
“By late Friday afternoon you want to quit and never come back and do it again, but by Saturday morning you are all energized again and ready to go.”
After 45 years, you'd think she would have picked up some golf skills from the pros.
“I can whack a ball around but I wouldn’t call it golf, no,' Nichols laughed. "I am really good at putt.”
She is teaching us all something about dedication, though.
You can find volunteers like Nichols scattered throughout the course wearing turquoise shirts and hats.
Learn more about The Players volunteers here.