PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — It takes an army of volunteers to pull off the Meijer LPGA Classic every year, and this year is no exception.
Volunteer organizers say more than 1,000 people will pitch in to support the 2022 tournament at Blythefield Country Club. Among them is Shelly Manning — an LPGA veteran volunteer who has taken part in every Meijer LPGA Classic since the event started in 2014.
“I actually have helped the LPGA at the Toledo tournament. I’ve been doing that one for 16 years,” she said. “I love golf.”
Manning learned about the first Meijer LPGA Classic while volunteering for the Toledo tournament.
“My sister lives close so I can stay with her, have some fun and work the (Meijer LPGA Classic) tournament. So it’s been kind of cool. And I’m actually going to work the Cincinnati one because my other sister lives by Cincinnati,” she said.
That family bond strengthened by golf extends onto the green. This year, Manning’s three sisters are joining her in volunteering at the Meijer LPGA Classic.
“This one is fun because I can do a lot of different things,” Manning said of the Meijer LPGA Classic.
Over the years, Manning has worked in the tournament’s locker rooms, as a marshal and running shuttles. This year, she’s ferrying people across the grounds on a golf cart.
“I have enjoyed doing these carts and shuttled because it gets me everywhere to see everything,” she said.
That includes watching LPGA leaders like two-time tournament champion Brooke Henderson, Brittany Lincicome, Lexi Thompson and defending champion Nelly Korda.
“I enjoy watching all of them, actually. And just watching them, it gets you more excited to go play and try to emulate what they do,” said Manning, who’s been playing golf for more than 20 years. “I watch their hands and watch different things that they do to see if I can emulate that and do the same thing.”
Beyond players, Manning says there are a lot of other familiar faces each year.
“I just enjoy it and enjoy the people. They’re very friendly. It’s been a joy to be out here and help,” she said.
And Manning plans to find that joy at the Meijer LPGA Classic, year after year.
“Oh yeah, as long as it’s here, I’ll come out,” she said.
The Meijer LPGA Classic runs through Sunday. Through this event, organizers hope to raise more than $1.2 million in donations for Simply Give to support food pantries across the Midwest.