AUGUSTA — Between chauffeuring people during the Masters golf tournament this week, Shannon Mihoulides joined other drivers Friday, stocking food and snacks at homes rented out for the event.
A guest at one of the residences was happy with the choices. Only one item, he said, was absolutely essential – Twizzlers.
Mihoulides, a South Aiken High School guidance office staffer, thoroughly enjoys the chance to serve visitors throughout the weeklong festivities. It's so much fun, she said of working with the company Premiere Global Sports. Three years ago, a friend asked her to give the assignment a try.
“He said I needed to be willing to work long hours and drive around people from all over the world,” Mihoulides said, adding with pleasure, “I said, 'Count me in.'”
She admitted to some disappointment on Thursday. After dropping off a couple at Augusta National, Mihoulides stopped at restaurant for lunch and a few minutes after she left, she heard that Johnny Depp had just walked in.
The people she has met this year and in the past have been really cool, she said. Most have been delighted to talk with her while she drives them around and for good reason: As South Aiken students and faculty already know, Mihhoulides is engaging and fun to chat with.
Of course, some of her guests do not speak English, but they have happily taken the opportunity to show her photographs of their children, their dogs and the sights from home.
Mihoulides' workweek actually started last Saturday, picking up a couple from New Mexico who took the trip to Augusta to go to the Masters to celebrate the woman's birthday. They wanted to return after first visiting in 2009.
“I'm loving life,” Mihoulides said with a laugh earlier this week. “In the morning, we get people where they want to go. We'll bring them to the Masters or to meet their tee times if they're playing golf themselves. We're running like maniacs, later getting people out to dinner and back home. I've met so many interesting people from all walks of life.”
A year ago, Mihoulides chauffeured a group of six Irish retirees who had left their wives at home. They laughed the whole time and relished all the local restaurants and other venues where she took them.
“They kept saying, 'Come dance with us,'” Mihoulidies said. “They were such a blast, and I was like their designated driver.”
She is impressed with her company each Masters week. The firm provides a hospitality site just outside the golf course to entertain the guests. Mihoulides has a walkie-talkie to keep in touch, and Global Premiere Sports sets up a schedule for her each day.
“It's an awesome experience,” she said, “and I would recommend it to anybody.”