Click HERE for bios of the Junior Course Reporters.
Click HERE for photos of the Junior Course Reporters.
Connor Smith - August 21, 2013
My day as a Junior Course Reporter at the Barclays at Liberty National Golf Club was full of excitement and adventure. Throughout the day I was able to meet people that ran operations that help put this tournament together, as well as some PGA TOUR players themselves. I was introduced to how a meteorologist detects lightning at the tournament, how SHOTLink works, how PGATOUR.com was started and is run today, and what goes on during a PGA TOUR radio broadcast. However, the highlight of the day for me was sitting in on Press Conferences with Bill Haas and Adam Scott.
“If you’re not hyped up for this, something is wrong with you,” said 2011 FedEx Cup Champion Bill Haas when he met the media. The FedEx Cup playoffs are very important for players like Haas and everyone that qualifies for the tournament. Being in the media room was a once in a lifetime opportunity for myself as I was able to see firsthand what people ask in the press conference and how the players react to these questions. I have seen many press conferences throughout my life on Golf Channel, but nothing compares to being in the room and feeling the excitement in the members of the media, and players’ voices.
About a half hour after Haas left the room, 2013 Masters Champion Adam Scott entered the room. He was asked questions about how he felt the course was different from 2009 and who he thinks has had the best season on the PGA TOUR this year. I found that the atmosphere when both Scott and Haas were there was laid back and relaxed, people asked Scott personal questions and he was willing to answer them. “I saw him (Justin Rose) in the Bahamas, and they had a party for him on Saturday night for his US Open win, which was plenty of fun,” said Scott.
All in all, today was an experience I would not trade for anything in the world. I was fortunate enough to meet a ton of very nice people, and experience one of my dreams of being inside a PGA TOUR Press Conference room. I would also like to thank Rachel Newman, Helen Ross, Dennis Paulson, Charlie Diamond, Jason Larson, Wade Stettner, my First Tee partners, all PGA TOUR players we met, and everyone who put this day together for us.
Amanda Malool - August 21, 2013
I spent my day at the Barclays overlooking the New York Harbor at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, New Jersey. Being selected for the Junior Course Reporter program was exciting since I’ve been playing golf for over ten years and have been interested in sports journalism since middle school. But, I have to admit, I had my doubts, especially when it came to interacting with the players.
The PGA TOUR players have gotten a bit of a bad rap about signing autographs and leaning toward the not-so-friendly side. But everyone we encountered was more than just friendly. And this was during the FedEx Cup playoffs, a tournament Bill Haas described as, “If you’re not hyped up for this [tournament], then you know, something’s wrong I think.”
Ben Crane, number 125 this week, took time out of being interviewed to shake our hands and ask us our names and how our day had been going so far. Same with Haas, who seemed genuinely happy to meet us.
Whether it was catching Rory McIlroy on the 11th tee box or Jason Dufner on the 18th green, every pro was approachable, autographing hats and posing for pictures. Brandt Snedeker was still playing with his group but stopped to sign every adoring kid’s hat (including my own) and responded when anyone asked a question or made a comment. Even Camilo Villegas was signing items as he walked up the fairway to the green. He never broke stride as he signed my hat and inquired where the family next to me was from—in Spanish.
Every behind-the-scenes view we got was amazing. From learning about meteorology and SHOTLink technology to meeting some very successful journalists and radio broadcasters to sitting in on Adam Scott and Bill Haas’s interviews, each was a unique opportunity I’ll never forget. But what stuck with me the most was the friendliness and openness the players exhibited, even during crunch time.
Ashley Kong - August 21, 2013
Day at The Barclays
I was lucky to be invited to be a junior course reporter at The Barclays. I visited the Birdies for the Brave Patriots’ Outpost, SHOTLink truck, weather truck and media center.
It’s amazing how the PGA TOUR sets up a tent for Military personnel and veterans. This morning, they were setting up a baby shower for all the expecting mothers whose husbands are currently overseas. Charlie Diamond gave my group and I a tour of the tent. The tent was completely decorated and full of gifts for the new mothers. Each table had a different theme labeled with the names of each mother-to-be. Charlie Diamond had said how almost each day the tent would look different. “By 4:00pm today, the tent will be cleaned and will have more military looking items.”
When we visited the SHOTLink truck, Jason Larson showed us how they get the scores from the course to the scoreboard and the location of the player’s ball. They have volunteers walk with the player sending back every shot to the truck as an electronic scorer, which is posted within a few seconds. They also have people checking to make sure that what the volunteer is sending is correct.
Wade Stettner, the meteorologist, helps the PGA TOUR officials predict if a lightning storm is approaching and if the wind is too strong at a tournament. This is important because it helps them to decide weather or not to delay or end a tournament early.
I saw many PGA TOUR professional players that will be playing at the 2013 Barclays tournament. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory Mcllroy, Luke Donald, Bill Haas and Adam Scott were some of the many I saw. When sitting in for the press conference, Bill Haas and Adam Scott talked about the golf course and how many tournament wins they had. They also talked about many other tournament related questions. Bill Hass said, “You have to be hyped to play this tournament or there is something wrong with you.”
This was a wonderful experience to have had. Thank you to all the people who made this experience happen.
Brittany Morgan - August 21, 2013
Giving Back Through Golf
I was one of the four people chosen to be a junior course reporter for the 2013 Barclays in Jersey City. We did many things, but there was one thing that caught my eye. This profession interested me because it was about giving back to others. I am a giving person and I care about the wellbeing of others and giving back to my community. This job would be my dream job because I am good at giving back to others.
There is a tent set up at certain tournaments for people in the military. They can watch with their families, and they can even caddie for the pros through “Birdies for the Brave.” And for the wives that are expecting a child but do not have a husband to support them, there is a baby shower for them called “Operation Shower.” There were 40 soon-to-be mothers signed up for this shower taking place today. Charlie Diamond showed us the Patriots’ Outpost tent, and all I remember is walking into something that did not look real. The tables were so beautiful with mini Ferris wheels on top and mini toys on the tables. It was so colorful and pretty. If I was a mother who walked into that, I would have started crying.
Charlie Diamond took us outside as well and we passed boxes for each wife/new mother which was a “Shower in a Box,” containing a bunch of items that newborns would need. This is all for the wives. For the men who have served for us, there is the Barclays Military Appreciation Ceremony to honor everyone. This is just a tiny part of how the PGA TOUR gives back to people who serve us and charities. They also give to The First Tee.
This would be my dream job. I would like to give back to everyone who has to be without someone who is helping to fight for our country. I know many people who have decided to enroll in the army or navy and it is just a tiny way for me to give back to everyone and be able to say that I go to an awesome job every day. This has been an amazing experience for me and it made me realize what I want to be when I am older.