PGA TOUR Course Reporters

 

2012 PGA TOUR

Course Reporters Program

(From Left: The Golf Channel's Gary Williams, Amanda Nguyen, Jensen Rubinstein,
Mason Watkins, Brandon Mikell, and The Golf Channel's Steve Sans)

On May 2, 2012, four TFTC Participants earned the chance to go behind the scenes of the Wells Fargo Championship as media for the day.  After their experience, they blogged about the adventure they had.  Read below to see what they had to say:

Brandon Mikell, 15 years old, Birdie Level Participant

Question:  If you could create a 10th Core Value, what would it be? 
Answer:  Excellence

     Today was a wonderful day at the Wells Fargo Championship with players out early trying to fine tune their game. Just before the start of the day, tour representatives were working with players on last minute adjustments to their clubs, press conferences were being held with some of the best players in the world, and the golf course was extremely busy on this very warm Wednesday.

    Our day started off early in the media tent where we received our credentials and headed off to the range where we were able to go inside the ropes to watch some players warm up such as Charlie Wi, and Billy Hurley III.

    Afterwards we waited outside the press conference tent for the number 2 player in the world, Rory McIlroy, where he stopped to sign autographs and take a photo. We then followed him into a small private courtyard where he did a few interviews with Steve Sans, and Morning Drive host Gary Williams.

    After lunch we received a tour of the CBS sports production trailer and learned what it really takes to be a golf television producer.  We learned that this may be the hardest sport to cover because of so many balls in the air at once while in other sports there is just one ball to cover. Next we went to the weather tent where we learned how weather plays a huge part in the tournament and received a quick lesson in meteorology. To conclude the day we toured the Adams Golf fitting trailer where it was explained what a club fitter does and how many adjustments they make per week.

 

    I had a wonderful time today and would like to thank the PGA Tour and The First Tee of Charlotte for giving me this wonderful opportunity.

Brandon Mikell

 

Amanda Nguyen, 17 years old, Eagle Level Participant

Question:  If you could create a 10th Core Value, what would it be? 
Answer:  Tact

Pros coming from all over the world to Charlotte, NC? We all know what that means! The week of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow! From the tee box to the green, everything looks like a piece of cake at the course and on television, but do you ever wonder what happens behind the scene? Who runs the show and puts everything in to place? Well thatís where I came in, I got to go behind the scenes and see what it was like to be part of the media for the day.

            When we arrived at the course, we headed straight to the media center, received our official media passes and began our day as reporters. Entering the media center was a complete shock. An air conditioned tent with desks, computers, telephones, and best of all a giant screen with the proís scores on one side and the golf channel on the other.  But whatís amazing out of all of this is that they constructed all of this on a tennis court.

After exploring the media center, we headed towards the interview room which was a long walk of five steps from the media center tent. There, we watched how everyone set up and prepped for the interviews.

            From there, we headed towards the range and the practice greens to watch the players warm up before they headed out. We headed back to the media area to have lunch where we met Beth. Mrs. Beth is a producer for The Golf Channel. She showed us the different trailers that are used to produce live footage to your televisions at home. Golf may look like an easy sport to produce on TV, but itís actually the hardest. It takes a lot of people to put together the show and even more screens! Going through the trailer, you wonder how on earth they look on all of these screens at one time or what button to press at the right time! Bethís job is a lot harder then it seems. She controls the people that are on camera, stats, and graphics. When you work for the media, like The Golf Channel, you travel a lot. On average, the people that are in the media world, work 25 weeks of the year and have the other weeks off.

We also met a guy that makes sure the weather is safe to play in. He is usually there form five in the morning till the last putt is in the hole. I guess you can say heís a traveling weatherman.

            We then explored the Adams equipment trailer. The trailers are there to re-grip clubs, make new ones, fix the shafts, or supply players of their needs. The trailers are usually at the site of the tournaments 2-3 days before to set up. They arenít there all week, only a few days before they have to pack up and head to the next tournament.

            Over all, today was an amazing experience behind the scenes. Learning things that are needed to have a successful tournament. As I finish writing about my day, I would like to thank The First Tee of Charlotte and of course the Wells Fargo Championship for letting me experience what it is like to be part of the media for a day. And of course, the people in the media department for teaching me and showing me what is done day by day of each tournament. 

Amanda Nguyen

 

Jensen Rubinstein, 16 years old, Eagle Level Participant

Question:  If you could create a 10th Core Value, what would it be? 
Answer:  Ambition

 

Many people wonder what being a member of media entails. Since I want to pursue a job in broadcasting, I was extremely curious about how everything is behind the scenes. Today at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, I got an unforgettable view of the hectic lives that people in media live and a close look at how the tournament is run.

            Although Iíve lived in Concord, NC for most of my life, Iíve never gone to the tournament at Quail Hollow before today. Because I was chosen as a PGA Course Reporter from The First Tee of Charlotte, I was able to finally visit the tournament. While I didnít know what to expect from the day, I knew that it would be amazing Ė and it was! Upon arriving and getting our credentials, my group headed to the driving range where we were allowed to stand inside the fence and watch the professionals and amateurs warm up. Watching the players warm up at the range and the short game area was nice because you were able to see the different things and various ways that they practiced before their round. Being a young golfer, itís always important to observe how the professionals practice and their attitude as they are hitting, because they always set good examples for other golfers to learn from.

After watching the men hit at the driving range, we went to the Media Center. Seeing the media crews rush to the different places to cover footage was a crazy and exciting experience. We stayed in the Media Center as Rory McIlroy had his press conference in the next room. While not being in his press conference was upsetting, I was able to actually meet him and take a picture with him after it which made it even better! I was also able to see Phil Mickelson once he had finished his press conference.

Once we had gone to lunch, we toured the CBS producing trailers, Adams equipment trailer, and the meteorology trailer! I thought that the CBS trailer was especially crazy because we were shown how many screens are shown there and the different elements that go into just one channelís coverage of the tournament. While many people may overlook a meteorologistís importance for an outside sport, their jobs are really significant in keeping the tournament safe and under control. Following the tours of the trailers and Media Center, we were finally able to watch people finishing the 18th hole. Being able to watch professional golfers in action was awesome after always having to watch them on TV.  

            While I think that the best part of my day in media was meeting Rory, I definitely took a lot from being able to go behind the scenes throughout the event. I learned a lot of valuable information about media that will hopefully help me as I try to pursue a career in broadcasting!        

Jensen Rubinstein

 

Mason Watkins, 15 years old, Eagle Level Participant

Question:  If you could create a 10th Core Value, what would it be? 
Answer:  Morals

Today was a great day.  We arrived at around 9am this morning. From there we checked in and got our press credentials and were welcomed to the wonderful Quail Hollow Golf Course. Everyone was very inviting and friendly.

After arriving and getting situated we managed our way up to the driving range. While at the driving range we got an inside look on how it was run. I thought it was pretty neat to see all the different types of balls and assortments that they played. We also got to see the playerís practice routines. It was very interesting to see the different ways they stayed focused and concentrated, whether it was music, a swing coach or, like Dicky Pride, talking, laughing and cracking jokes. 

From the practice range we went back to the media tent where we waited outside the interview room for the one and only, Rory McIlroy. Rory walked out and greeted us warmly, we asked him a couple of questions, and got autographs. We then followed him  over to a couple of interviews. I learned a lot from Rory. He handled himself well, answering all the questions happily and did well with everyone.  

After we said thanks to Rory we proceeded to the food tent . The food was immaculate and the ice cream was even better. After lunch we went with one of the board members of TFTC and visited the weather booth where we learned how the weather was tracked, monitored, and relayed to tournament officials. This job is actually a huge part of the tournament. He ensures the outside safety of everyone there, players and fans. From there we ventured over to the Adams golf trailer where we went into an in-depth process of how pros could come and get there clubs custom fitted  and try out new cubs. After that we headed over to the 18th green where we watched a couple of players come in. Then we went up to the 18th booth and greeted our other First Tee friends. From there we departed. It was an amazing day and an even more amazing experience and I would like to thank everyone who made this possible.

Mason Watkins