Last minute preparations and touch-ups are underway right now for the 2019 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. A select group of workers called Swampers has been set up for the championship days in advance.
They’re college students from all over and are part of a PGA of America internship program. These students get a first-hand look on what a significant championship can look like and how it operates down to the roots. The weather conditions they work in vary from place to place.
“This is the most fun you can have in the miserable conditions that’ll you’ll ever experience,” said Patrick Gushee, Swamper from Michigan. “We are in the rain, and in the snow, the wind, here till one am and we can be in at 5 a.m. as we were this morning. To get through that, you need a comradery; all of us are very close.”
The many job duties Swampers have to do range from painting the fences white to moving generators out to the golf course.
On average they’ll travel and prep at least two championships per internship.
“We had to put some concrete box into a swamp. To do that we had to go into the swamp, and physically be in there and help set it to the place. It was April in Michigan, and so it was roughly 40 degrees like it was for the last few days here,” said Gushee. “Miserable in the cold water but it’s a fun story when you come out of it. Yea we’re kind of crazy enough to go into the water and whatever else.”
Hundreds of people who work for PGA of America today started in the business as Swampers.