No key organizer of the U.S. Amateur has a bigger working space than Kathleen Pope.
An employee of Chicago-based KemperSports Management Group – the company in charge of the day-to-day operation of many golf courses, including Chambers Bay Golf Links – Pope is the tournament’s championship coordinator, and has been on-site the past 18 months.
No wonder when you walk into her office located in Pierce County’s environmental services building next door to Chambers Bay she has stacks of paperwork the size of miniature skyscrapers.
“Seriously, how long are my days?” she said, repeating the question out loud. “Twelve to 14 hours. … If you love what you’re doing, it isn’t like work.”
In 2005, while working for a tax service, Pope took a golfing vacation to Bandon Dunes Golf Links in Oregon.
Golf management intrigued her – so much, she filled out an application to join KemperSports a few days later.
A year later, she worked her first United States Golf Association tournament.
This U.S. Amateur is her fourth USGA event. All logistics for the championship – player accommodations and registration; tournament construction including the tents, scoreboards, restrooms and concessions stands; and assisting Shari Jacobson with volunteer coordination – fit under her work umbrella.
“I have no family, other than my brothers (who live in Eugene),” Pope said. “I’m not sure what’s coming next, but this has been a fun ride.” Todd Milles, staff writer