For golf fans everywhere, the coveted place at a golf tournament is inside the ropes, that sacred territory where the mere mortals dare not tread.

For Don and Diane Doyon of Lewiston, it is a place of honor and respect. For the past three years, the Doyons have volunteered as marshals at the Professional Golfers Association Deutsche Bank Championship Playoff at the TPC Boston in Norton, Mass. At this event, the top 100 PGA Tour golfers play in New England’s “premier event.”

The Doyons’ adventure began with a visit to the tournament. They “got hooked” when they spoke to volunteers and decided to sign up as volunteers themselves. Their first experience found them assigned to the fifth hole, where they were to rotate positions so they would be able to see the tee, the green and the fairway, and generally keep the fans behind the ropes. 

“It has to be very quiet everywhere on the fairway,” Diane said. “We hold up our ‘quiet’ sign.”

She said her highlight was when Phil Mickelson (rated the No. 2 golfer in the world) hit into the rough.

“I needed to place the red flag to mark the ball (indicating where the ball landed),” she said. “He picked up the flag and handed it (back) to me, and said, ‘Thank you.’ Oh my gosh! I just melted, looking into those blue eyes. He’s a real gentleman and a good player.”

Don’s moment came when he saw Tiger Woods interact with a 10-year-old boy.

“I’ve been watching Tiger for years,” Don said. “It’s quite a thing to see. The thing that impressed me was when a young man asked Tiger if he could carry Tiger’s bag. Tiger told (his caddy) Steve Williams to let the boy carry the bag. When they reached the 17th hole, Tiger handed (the boy) a putter from his bag and made him putt. And then, he carried Tiger’s bag to the 18th hole. The kid was as happy as a son of a gun!”

Diane has autographs from Freddie Couples, Camilo Villegas and Zack Johnson. As for Don, “I have so many, I really forgot who they are. Tiger doesn’t give out autographs until after he signs his card.”

This Labor Day weekend, the Doyons will head to TPC Boston again. “On Sunday they have a huge barbecue,” Diane said.


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