For 10 days every April, Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia transitions from a quiet, private retreat to a global sporting event and worldwide celebration of golf.
“It goes from being a golf club to a Fortune 500 company in a week,” said Elena Griggs, president of the Terry College Supply Chain Advisory Board and graduating management senior. “It’s a huge influx of people.”
Griggs was one of 18 Terry College management students who were able to attend this year’s tournament as logistics interns with Marty Parker, a logistics and supply chain expert and a management lecturer at UGA Terry College of Business.
“The golf is great. But for someone who studies supply chains, the logistics of the Masters Tournament is a show,” Parker said.
In 2018, 2019 and again this year, Parker took a group of his supply management students to the tournament to witness the production and learn how well-oiled a system must be to operate at the level of the Masters Tournament.
The students benefit from seeing the execution of principles they are learning about in their management classes, while also providing hands-on support to Augusta National Golf Club’s insights and analytics operation.
A team of eight Terry supply chain students assisted the club’s insights and analytics manager and his support team to help optimize the patron experience. “With only one week to collect data on the operation, it helps to have as many observers as possible,” Parker said.
“The students are there to sketch the processes, gather data and look for places where there could be improvements.”
Students observed key functions in high-traffic areas of the tournament, from the queue at the merchandise shop to the layout of restaurant kitchens. “It's all behind the scenes stuff, but it's critical for an event this large,” Parker said.
Another group of 10 Terry College students had front-of-house operations jobs — helping to manage lines or chipping in to help patrons.
“It was really enjoyable, and it took you into this massive operation that they had going on there behind the scenes that you don't think about,” said Peter Collins Sisserson, a Terry full-time MBA student with a background in operations. “Just moving thousands of people through a single shop in a day is a feat, and we’re seeing how each operations person plays into that. That was fascinating.”