Q&A: Joe Browning, senior associate A.D., UNCW
Browning, who has spent the past 24 years working in the UNC-Wilmington athletic department, has served as the media coordinator for both NCAA Women’s Golf Championships hosted at the Country Club of Landfall. This year’s tournament drew wide support from local residents, as a fleet of volunteers and spectators hit the fairways. Browning spoke with Golfweek.com:
When did the planning for this event begin?
Probably about three years ago. We hosted it in ’95. There was a lot of interest to bring it back. To do so, it’s a cumulative effort between the university, Country Club of Landfall and the community.
How many people are involved in the structure of putting on this tournament?
We have close to 500 volunteers. Golf, it’s not like a basketball or a baseball game. It’s a mammoth effort because it’s so spread out. From a volunteer standpoint, that’s what makes it a lot easier to stage because we have such a great volunteer base, the majority of which comes from inside the club. They embrace it.
A lot of the residents have been outside in their back yards and on their porches watching last week. Why has the community embraced this event so warmly?
It’s a great golf area. A lot of the volunteers are older; they like to see the young people, like being around the energy that they exude. To some extent, it’s become kind of a social event as well. You see people on their back porches, just an opportunity to get together and watch some great golf.
Will we have to wait another 15 years for the tournament to return?
I don’t know what the future holds. I know it takes a little while to rest up from the previous one. I could say without hesitation we’d love to have either this or another tournament of this caliber back. It’s a lot of work, but it’s rewarding.