Home Lifestyle Safety first at this year’s Women’s Open

Safety first at this year’s Women’s Open

Dory Franklin, RN, Dr. Jonathan Brower and Giovanna Miller, RN, stand outside the First Aid station near the first tee for the U.S. Women’s Open in Southern Pines. Photo by John Patota

SOUTHERN PINES — When an event the size of the U.S. Women’s Open comes to town, the focus is usually on some of the best players in the world who come to tee it up in search of a major title.

With all the excitement, it’s probably easy to miss the blue sign with a red cross just off the first tee and 12th green which marks the location of the on-site medical facilities. Though easy to ignore, its importance is critical to ensuring a successful tournament week.

This year, Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, will be hosting its record-setting fourth U.S. Women’s Open Championship being played May 28-June 5. The top women golfers in the world have arrived in the Sandhills of North Carolina to compete for a major championship.

Though the spotlight may be on the stars, it’s also important to recognize the people in the background who make hosting such a prestigious event possible.

One of the features of hosting such a large event is the presence of medical professionals on site to handle any emergencies that may arise. Medical tents are located adjacent to the fan central area off the first tee and on the 12th hole out on the course.

Dr. Matthew Harmody, who is the medical director for the Open this year, spoke with us and gave us some feedback as to facilities and staffing here this week to keep the public safe during tournament play.

Per USGA standards, each tent is staffed by, at minimum, a physician or mid-level care representative and registered nurse. More than 50 healthcare professionals from across the FirstHealth of the Carolinas network are staffing the medical tents throughout the week. Staff from the hospitals in Moore, Montgomery, Hoke and Richmond counties are all represented in the tents.


In addition to the medical tents, Moore County EMS will also be on site during the week patrolling the course and stationed throughout the venue.

Per Harmody, the expectation of the medical personnel on site is to handle acute emergencies by stabilizing and arranging transport quickly to Moore Regional Hospital’s emergency room for further treatment if needed.

Dr. Jonathan Brower, who works primarily in Richmond County’s ER, gave us a few tips to stay safe while on site.

“First and foremost, hydration is key with the hot weather we will be experiencing this week,” Brower said.

Another feature of the medical tents is that they are located next to hydration stations where water bottles can be filled at no charge to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Brower further advises patrons to wear sunscreen, and also wear appropriate shoes for walking the course.

Harmody agreed that hydration while out on the course is imperative to staying safe this week. Dori Franklin, RN, added to not be afraid to stop by and say hello and be sure to fill up your water bottles.

Previous articleOBITUARY: Marvin ‘Buddy’ Lester Smith
Next articleEstate sale