What's it like to run a manual leaderboard at the PGA Championship?
By Mike Wadsworthmwadsworth@wciv.com
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) - As you make your way through the gates at the Ocean Course on Kiawah for the 2012 PGA Championship, the flow of visitors carries you forward.
Crowds peel off to the left into a flashy Mercedes-Benz display with interactive putting simulators. The majority of others, heading in that same direction, disappear into an enormous pro shop right next door.
Moving straight ahead on the blue carpet and down a few steps, visitors get their first look at PGA Championship action - an official course leaderboard.
The crowd splits in two directions, fans checking out the front nine heading left, the rest heading right for the back nine.
And right in between, ten to fifteen feet in the air, stands the leaderboard with two to three men, depending on the time of day, working vehemently to change every score manually.
From a distance, you don't hear a sound. Up close, it's a much different story.
"Peterson is 9 and 4, Woodland is 4 and 3! We need two 4's!" commands one voice.
The first number in black refers to the player's current hole and the second number in red, refers to their score under par. The top eight players at any given time are up on this board.
"No, Woodland needs a black 4. Mcilroy is 3 black and 4 red, 'Oh really!'" he says, reacting to Rory Mcilroy's four-under-par at 11:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
72-year-old Darryl Narmour from Johns Island sits in the corner of the small leaderboard standing area, shouting scores to his counterpart.
"I got so much activity on this headset, I can barely think," says 62-year-old Doug Hawley from Vermont, who is placing the numbers on the board.
Darryl holds a small device that updates a player's current hole and score while Doug places the numbers on the board and reports emergencies through his headset. The two have been going non-stop since 8 a.m. Thursday morning.
"In four hours, we may have rested maybe a minute at a time," says Darryl.
He says the device updates every two or three minutes and then it's go-time. Every letter of each name is on its own card. Players holes and scores consistently change, and when a player moves up or down the leaderboard, it all has to move around.
It's a tasking job in the midday Kiawah sun, updating the scores and fielding questions about player scores from fans down below, but Darryl and Doug love it.
"Oh! John Daly 17 and 4!" Darryl yells with a smile as John Daly goes to 4-under-par on the day, just before noon Thursday.
"It's been nice. You get to stand up here with this view," says Doug Hawley as he points toward the ocean.
The Ocean Course has 12 leaderboards and eight thruboards for the PGA Championship. Thruboards tell visitors who is playing through the hole at that time. The crew at each board works non-stop just like Darryl and Doug.
The men are nearing the end of their shift at noon. Doug has a short break and then it's back to the 14th hole for three more hours of leaderboard duty. But for these guys, it's all fun and games.
"I'm going to 14, right on the beach again. Ha!" shouts Doug with a laugh.