GREENSBORO, N.C. -- He has made golf a huge part of his life all while serving as a proud volunteer for the Wyndham Championship and now he will always remain as part of the tournament.
Marty Sheets who has Down Syndrome became a big part of the PGA tournament following a special visit by PGA professional Kenny Perry to his house in the 1990s. He later followed Perry's group and commented that he wish he could carry the "score sign." The standard bearer in the group heard the comment and invited Sheets to carry the sign. After that he was hooked and started volunteering the next year in the Wyndham Championship. In 2006 Sheets won the 2006 PGA TOUR Volunteer of the Year award. It's the highest honor for individual benevolence and its highest recognition given to a tournament volunteer.
Mark Brazil, Wyndham Championship Tournament Director, stated "When he was active as a volunteer, he was the perfect volunteer in every way. He always brought a smile to everyone's face, and he was an excellent standard bearer. He was assigned the final group in the final round each year because he did such a good job."
Sheets' namesake is now part of the tournament as the volunteer headquarters at the Wyndham Championship was renamed the Marty Sheets Volunteer Center as part of the tournament's 75th anniversary. Sheets who is now 61, attended the ceremony but has dementia.
His father Dave Sheets stated, "We are just thrilled and honored that the Wyndham is recognizing Marty in this manner. It's beyond anything we ever imagined. If Marty could speak for himself, he would say 'thank you from the bottom of my heart.' I know he would say that. He loved doing what he was doing, and it is just remarkable that his name will forever be connected with the Wyndham Championship. We are very proud."
Sheets' love of golf started at a young age. It carried over into the Special Olympics where Sheets competed in the sport in addition to power lifting, alpine skiing, tennis, and aquatics. Sheets soon became a decorated Special Olympics athlete winning more than 250 medals over the years. He also represented North Carolina at the first International Special Olympics Games at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1968. He also has received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2000 that's the highest civilian award given by the State of North Carolina.