Maggie Hatcher, a longtime volunteer at the Principal Charity Classic®, presented by Wells Fargo, has been recognized as the 2017 PGA TOUR Champions “Volunteer of the Year.”
The award was announced on December 7 during the TOUR’s annual meetings in Boca Raton, Florida, with Hatcher being selected as this year’s outstanding volunteer across all 26 PGA TOUR Champions events. She was nominated for the award by tournament staff (watch video here).
Hatcher, 79, of Harlan, Iowa, said she was thrilled to accept the honor and wanted to share it with her fellow volunteers at the Principal Charity Classic. More than 1,200 volunteers help bring the annual golf tournament to life each year at historic Wakonda Club in Des Moines.
“When I heard that I had been nominated for this award, I couldn’t believe it,” Hatcher said. “And then to win it…well, I had to sit down. It’s a great honor, and one that so many of my fellow Principal Charity Classic volunteers deserve, too. I’m just very proud to represent them. They are wonderful people.”
Hatcher, who currently volunteers as a marshal on the 14th hole, has made the trek from her hometown of Harlan – roughly 100 miles west of Des Moines – to Iowa’s capital city for the past 17 years and arrives with the energy of someone decades younger. She began volunteering when the event was known as the Allianz Championship (2001-2006) and then continued when Principal became title sponsor (2007 to present).
In addition to serving as a marshal, she has also previously volunteered in radio communications and as a tournament walking scorer.
“Volunteers are the heart and hands of the Principal Charity Classic,” said Assistant Tournament Director Scott Fuller, who also has been with the Principal Charity Classic for 17 years. “And Maggie exemplifies everything that is great about our many wonderful, longtime volunteers. Her smile, enthusiasm and energy are contagious, and her dedication to the tournament inspires everyone around her.”
Hatcher was born and raised on a farmstead east of Harlan, and caught the golf bug while volunteering at the former LPGA event in Springfield, Illinois, in the late 1970s. It was there she met well-known golf operations leader John Montgomery, Sr., who recruited her to join his company, Executive Sports, Inc., in Delray Beach, Florida.
Hatcher migrated south and spent two years working for Montgomery, Sr., whom she credits with teaching her to “never be a phony.” Hatcher said her time in Florida was wonderful, but she missed the changing seasons and eventually returned to Iowa. She later spent 25 years working as a bookkeeper for her local newspaper.
Hatcher, who will celebrate her 80th birthday in August, said she’d like to reach the 20-year mark as a Principal Charity Classic volunteer.
“It’s been a wonderful 17 years, my health is good right now, and the tournament keeps me young,” Hatcher said. “We’re a family as volunteers, and it’s exciting to reconnect with everyone each year. When we see each other again, it’s like we haven’t been apart for 51 weeks. And that’s my favorite thing about it all. It’s the people, and the difference we make together. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
The 2018 Principal Charity Classic will take place June 5-10 at Wakonda Club. Volunteer registration will open in January. For more information, visit principalcharityclassic.com.
About the Principal Charity Classic
The Principal Charity Classic is an annual PGA TOUR Champions event focused on philanthropic giving. In 2016, the Principal Charity Classic was recognized as the PGA TOUR Champions Tournament of the Year. This premier golf event raises contributions for the tournament’s “FORE Our Kids” charities, including: 1) Tournament Charity Partners, select organizations that provide a broad level of support to children of Iowa in the areas of education and culture, financial security and stability, and/or health and wellness. These organizations are supported through net proceeds of the tournament; and 2) Birdies for Charity Partners, which includes more than 100 additional children’s charities across Iowa that receive support through individual pledges and contributions made prior to and during the tournament. In 2017, the tournament raised a record $3,581,427, bringing its charitable giving total to approximately $13.5 million since 2007.
The 2018 Principal Charity Classic tournament will be played June 5-10, 2018, at Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa. For more information on the charities and the tournament, visit principalcharityclassic.com and follow via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About PGA TOUR Champions
PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older, including 35 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Tour’s mission is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back and generate significant charitable and economic impact in tournament communities. In 2018, the PGA TOUR Champions schedule includes 27 tournaments across the United States, Scotland and Canada, with purses totaling more than $56 million. The Charles Schwab Cup, which includes the Regular Season and the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, is used to determine the season-long champion. All events are televised in the United States, with most receiving complete coverage on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable-television partner of PGA TOUR Champions. Internationally, telecasts air in excess of 190 countries and territories, reaching more than 330 million potential households. Follow PGA TOUR Champions online at PGATOUR.com, at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions, on Twitter @ChampionsTour and on Instagram @pgatourchampions.