The First Tee in conjunction with the Champions Tour is excited to offer an opportunity for juniors of The First Tee to cover the tournament from their perspective. Follow the junior blogs below from The 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities. (ALSO POSTED AT http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/s568/ (Champions Tour website)
Junior Course Reporters”will be asked to cover a wide variety of topics
involved with the tournament, as well as the tournament itself. They
will also interact with golf media, PGA Champions Tour Executives, and
even participate in a question and answer session with the players for
Thursday Pro-am and Friday's Round. See below for Junior Reporters Stories from 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities.
For more information on the tournament go to www.3mchampionship.com
2014 The First Tee Junior Reporters at the 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, MN
Junior Reporters David, Ben, Stone & Grace with PGA Professional Golfer Tom Lehman
Former 3M Championship First Tee Reporter Parker Reddig played in the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach in Sept 2013 (Click here) Parker finished 2nd in the team event with Pro Jeff Sluman & was low junior with scores of 72, 66, & 74!
2013 First Tee Junior Reporter Program Blogs from Ty, Lee, and Noah
First Tee Reporter Noah Branch & Arnold Palmer
First Tee Reporters with 3M Staff Taylor Auman Junior Golfer Brooklyn at The First Tee Booth
First Tee Reporter Ty Griffin Champions Tour Golfer Bobby Clampett & Ty Griffin
Written Ty Griffin, The First Tee Course Reporter from the 3M Championship
Going into the day I knew it would be a blast but it was much more than that, it was an experience I will never forget.
We started the day off at the tour vans. There we met Adam who is the assistant pro at TPC Twin Cities. He took us into the Champions tour van where we talked to Brian who travels around with the PGA and Champions tour. Brian showed us how to put grips and club heads on golf clubs and then introduced us to Mark Brooks. Mark Brooks was a winner of the PGA championship and has 7 other PGA tour victories.
After visiting the tour vans we went to the range, where we met Howard Lowinger. Howard was in charge of the range ball tent, there he showed us how to sort and organize range balls. We organized them into three categories Titleist Pro V1’s, Callaway’s, and Titleist Nxt’s, and learned that the crave for Pro V1’s was substantial!
After our help in the range ball tent we went to watch the champions tour professionals and amateurs putt on the practice green. There we saw Corey Pavin, we were able to see his phenomenal short game at play. Pavin was hitting all sorts of chip shots on the green, it was just really cool to see all of his different type of shot plays. We were then able to catch up to him and get his autograph. Right before lunch we spent some time on the range and were fortunate enough to try out the newest callaway clubs.
Once we finished lunch it was time for us to walk with the Champions tour players and amateurs. I was paired up with Bobby Clampett, who opened with a little comedy act with the starter. During the round he was really nice and very funny. I learned that Bobby Clampett was born in Carmele California, he played for Brigham young university, and during that time was elected best college player twice. Also during the round Bobby Clampett and his caddie Cliff showed me how they prepare for tournaments and what all the stats in his book mean.
Overall it was amazing, I had a great time, and I’m blessed with the opportunity of this wonderful experience.
My name is Noah Branch. I am fourteen years old and have been golfing and with The First Tee for the past eight years. Through The First Tee I have been given many amazing opportunities, but none ever such as my experience today. I was given the chance to be a junior reporter at the 3M Championship.
My day of excitement started around 11:00 am. My day began at the driving range area where I introduced myself to some PGA volunteers and even some the pros. I went into the PGA Champions Tour van and watched Brian, a PGA representative, re-grip a couple clubs. As we were in the van I got the chance to meet up with Mark Brooks, a PGA professional. As soon as he signed my new hat (which I had just got from Brian), I headed over to the volunteer’s area. I helped clean and sort a few balls with a volunteer named Howard Lowinger, a great guy who loves golf. I then set out to the putting and chipping area to watch a few of the pros warm up. At the chipping area, I was fortunate enough to catch one of the world’s best short game players, Cory Pavin. After introducing myself to him and having him sign my hat (which at this point is becoming an autograph book) I headed down to the driving range.
At the range, I was able to catch some of the pros swinging, although, not wanting to distract them, wasn’t able to speak with them. I was also able to see some of the amateurs, whose swings were anywhere from exemplary to needing work, but all great. Next at the range, I went over to the Callaway demo tent. There I met Jamie, a volunteer helping to keep an eye on everything. I was able to hit a couple balls with the demo clubs and they were, to say the least, a future investment.
After lunch I went over to the tenth hole and the main event of my day started. I had the honor of walking with and interviewing Dana Quigley, a professional golfer who has been on the Champions Tour for sixteen years now. He began golfing at the age of fourteen. He began caddying for a little extra money, $1.25 per bag at the time, and really got into the game at sixteen. Quigley is from Barrington, Rhode Island, and is a solely self-taught golfer. Being self-taught, it was amazing how well he swung the club. When I asked about how much he practices at the range on average, he said none. He believes the best way to get better is through playing, which he does all day, every day. Through his fifty-two years in golf, he proudly has walked every round, often times letting his caddy take the cart (what a great guy!). Growing up, Quigley was extremely athletic playing multiple sports including basketball (he must have been pretty good with his height!) and running track. Never expecting to become a professional golfer, he also has a major in business, specializing in insurance. In 1978, he did go pro though and played on Tour for the next five years.
But Quigley’s life hasn’t been all good. In 2011, Quigley’s son got into a terrible car accident, driving underneath an eighteen-wheeler. His son has been completely paralyzed since, putting a block on his path to be a professional golfer, just like his father. The night of the accident, the doctor’s expected that he wouldn’t make it, telling Quigley that they would call him when it’s over. Quigley simply replied, “You’d be surprised what the Lord can do” emphasizing God’s presence in his son’s life. He is able to communicate through his eyes, however, answering yes or no questions. Recently, when Quigley spoke with his son at home in Florida, he asked him to move his toes and he did. The battle has been long and hard, but it is one that the Quigley’s seem to be winning with a mixture of time and God.
My time With Mr. Quigley was golden. A day I will surely never forget. It was an honor to be able to see him play and talk with him; the one thing I would wish is for more time with him. He said to be happy and to not get too worked up because “golf is a game, not a business… unless you go pro, then it’s a business.” Dana Quigley is a skilled golfer as well as a caring, strong, and humorous man. I thank Mr. Quigley for the opportunity to watch and to learn from him today. I also thank the The First Tee for offering me this experience.
My second day was filled with excitement, but not nearly as much as the first. It began at the range with watching some of the professionals putt, chip, and work out of the bunker. I then went down to the driving area to watch the pros hit a few. I was able to watch the great swings of Pavin, Bucek, and even Haas. After this I was able to get a quick tour of the clubhouse from one of the club pros there; going to the locker room, pro shop, dining areas, and even learning a little bit about the TPC’s across America. My day came to an end with walking, outside the ropes, watching Jay Haas, Nick Price, Mark Wiebe and eventually Tom Lehman and his threesome.
I had a great time reporting and interviewing some players. I would personally like to thank Brian Simpson and Troy Nygaard for their guidance, as well as Michael Hinton for giving me this opportunity and especially Dana Quigley for letting me walk with and interview him. I would also like to sincerely thank The First Tee for giving me all of these great opportunities as well as teaching me, not only the game of golf, but life skills for the past eight years.
Noah and Champion Tour Play Dana Quigley
Writen by Lee Froelich, age 13.
I was really excited the night before and could hardly sleep. On Saturday , August 1, I went to the 3M Championship. There , as a Junior reporter I had many things to do. When my friends and I got there, we went to the range to see the Cleveland tour truck. In there we saw Mark Brooks, a touring pro. he likes to work on his clubs himself. In that same truck we saw Brian. He is in charge of the truck and builds things for the tour players. After that we met Howard Lowinger. he works on the range to help sort the NXT tour balls, Callaway balls, and Titleist practice balls. During this time , I had a lot of fun.
During the second part of the day, I walked around with a pro named Mark McNulty. That was real cool. I walked with him from hole 10 to 14. I had a blast asking him questions. I asked him how he mentally prepares before a tournament. he answered, he tries to relax, sit in a quiet place, and close his eyes. He pictures himself doing well, and hitting good golf shots. He also likes to get there 2 hours early, hit some putts, some balls, and a few more putts again, right before he goes out. Another question I asked him was, why he has two putters. He replied if he is not near his home, and one breaks or gets stolen, he has another one with him.
My last question to Mr. McNulty was why he wanted to be a pro golfer. He answered back saying, when he was little, he used to watch a show about how 2 golfers would play each other. For example , Rory Mcllroy would play Graeme McDowell because they are both English men. Also, when he was 9, his parents took him out of school to see a tournament with Arnold Palmer and Gary Player. He knew then, he wanted to be a pro.
I am happy to be involved with the First Tee Program, and I thank them for this wonderful opportunity. I had a great time
2012 Junior Reporters
Junior Reporters Parker Reddig and Sarah Sontowski Junior Reporters Harrison and Hannah Bruns
Thurday Blogs Below
Parker, Nick Price and Sarah Sarah,Fuzzy Zoeller, Parker, & Klya
Jr Reporters with Mary Nguyen of Champions Tour and Kate Stefko of the Golf Channel
First Tee Jr. Course Reporter - Day 1 (Below)
After the range we were able to go into the Champions Tour club repair trailer. Right when I walked in I was blown away. There was every type of club head, irons, wedges and shafts you could imagine. While we were there we watched them blowtorch a shaft from a Taylormade Burner 3 wood, clean it off and replace it with a new shaft & grip in less than 5 minutes....wow! These guys really know what they're doing! We also saw players adjusting their own clubs. David Frost was one of those players. He was changing the loft and lie of his own club.
Sarah Sontowski Age 13
First Tee Jr. Course Reporter - Day 1 (Below)
First Tee member at Eagle Lake Golf Course Plymouth, MN
I have been a member of the First Tee program for 7 years. I started out with group lessons and playing in the Jr. leagues a couple times a week. I have learned a lot about golf and the 9 core values that the First Tee program teaches. The teaching instructors there are so great, I have learned something different from each of them. I have met a lot of new people while playing in the Jr leagues and had some great experiences. When I was 8 years old ,we took a bus trip from Eagle Lake Golf course to the TPC Twin Cities 3M Championship to participate in a skills challenge. I won 1st place in the girls 10 and under division and got a nice trophy and got to meet Fuzzy Zoeller and a few other pros. The First Tee program helped me personally last year when I qualified to play in The Optimist International Jr Golf Championship at the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. They found a sponsor for me to help pay for tournament fees and travel expenses.
Today was my first day of being a Jr course reporter at the 3M Championship at the TPC Twin Cities. It was a blast! We started the day off by meeting in the media tent to get all of the things that I needed for the day. First I had to read and sign some paper work, then I got my badge that gave me access to most areas. I also got a “2012 Media Guide”, the Media Guide has all the information about rules/regulations, player earnings, past winners and tournament facts.
At 10:15 am, I got to sit in on a interview with Nick Price, it was so cool seeing how everything worked in a real live interview. I even got to ask him a question. My question was, What was your most memorable shot in your career? His answer was “It was at the Canadian Open, when I hit my 2 iron on hole 16 (Par 5) and stuck it 6 inches from the cup.” After the interview we headed off to the driving range, there we were able to test out some Callaway clubs. I tested a 7 iron and a 4 hybrid and after hitting some balls we found our way to the club repair trailer, where we met up with Mike Bertha. He was kind enough to show us some of the things they do for the pros. He showed us how to re-grip clubs, change driver heads and check the angle of the club shaft. He also gave me a Cleveland hat.
All these fantastic things have already happened and I still haven’t gotten to best part of the day. We walked to hole number 1 to meet up with Joey Sindelar. I walked with him for 4 holes, it was a great experience to be able to walk and talk with a pro golfer. I got to ask him a lot of questions and I found out some helpful information about golf colleges. Mr. Sindelar was a nice man, I’m glad I was able to spend some time with him . I found out that we had something in common, we both started playing golf when we were 4 to 5 years old, also that both our fathers love the game and pushed us as kids to be the best that we can be. That was very interesting. Mr. Sindelar would help out the other golfers in the group by giving them helpful advise throughout the round. He helped them read greens, he gave them areas to aim at and he also helped with swing tempo. Joey Sindelar has a fun personality, I am so glad I got to meet him.
It was getting late in the day and we needed to start heading back to the media tent, when we heard music coming from a golf cart, guess who was driving? It was Fuzzy Zoeller. I got to talk to him and even got to ride along with him for a hole.
He was really funny, it was to bad that my time with him was so short. We finally made are way back to media tent. After I gathered all my things and we where on our way out, I got introduced to Mark O’Meara . I talked to him for a few minutes, he told us that this was his 1st tournament back after being out because of a rib cage injury.
Today I had a wonderful time being a Jr course reporter, I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.
2011 Jr Reporter Program
Champion's Tour Player Mr. Peter Jacobson, Claire, Rachel, Sara, & Champion's Tour Player Mr. Andy North
The First Tee in conjunction with the PGA Champions Tour is excited to offer an opportunity for juniors of The First Tee to cover the tournament from their perspective. Follow the junior blogs below from The 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities. (ALSO POSTED AT http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/s568/ (Champions Tour 3M Championship Tournament Overview)
Along with the PGA Champions Tour and pgatour.com, these “Junior Course Reporters” will be asked to cover a wide variety of topics involved with the tournament, as well as the tournament itself. They will also interact with golf media, PGA Champions Tour Executives, and even participate in a question and answer session with the players for Thursday Pro-am and Friday's Round.
Follow below The Junior Course Reporter's Liz Bauernfeind, Sara Detlefson, Rachel Floeder, & Claire Troxel and Jack Kinsman.
(Jack has a follow up Blog from his experience with Dana Quigley, see below)
Rachel, Claire, Mr. Tom Watson, Sara & Liz
Jr Reporter Blogs, see below or click on name:
BLOG #1 was there experience on Thursday, BLOG #2 was there experience of Friday
Blog #1 Liz Bauernfeind Age 17
Blog #2 Liz Bauernfeind
Blog #1 Sara Detlefson Age 17
Blog #2 Sara Detlesfson
Blog #1 Rachel Floeder Age17
Blog #2 Rachel Floeder
Blog #1 Claire Troxel Age 18
Blog #2 Claire Troxel
Blog #1 Jack Kinsman Age 15
Special Thanks to Dave Senko (Champions Tour Media Official) and John Hultquist from the Media Tent for their help, as well as The Golf Channel and The TPC of the Twin Cities. Thanks to General Manager Alan Cull of TPC Twin Cities
Liz Bauernfeind, age 17
Junior Course Reporter at The 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities
The First Tee of Three River’s Park District
Blog #1 I have been a member of The First Tee for ten years. I started taking lessons and play in the league when I was seven. My experiences with The First Tee have been once in a lifetime opportunities. In the beginning of July 2011, I was lucky enough to be able to participate in The Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. When I was there, I was teamed with Fuzzy Zoeller, the funniest man on the face of the planet! That week I learned how to relax, have fun, and just play.
Today, I start being a Junior Course Reporter at the 3M Championship at the TPC Twin Cities. As Junior Course Reporter, I went inside the ropes and learned what happens with the players when they are on and off the course. Our first stop today was at the driving range where we were able to test out a few Callaway clubs. The other reporters and I really enjoy golf and we all like hitting different clubs. Afterward, we went into the Callaway Club Repair Trailer. The first thing I see walking into the trailer is a guy holding an iron against what looks like a belt sander and sparks flying everywhere! All I could think is, “Why would someone fix their club before a tournament.” But come to find out, it was Jim Thorp’s irons and he was just a little steep on his downswing. Instead of fixing his swing for the tournament he just “moved the bounce” of the club. By moving the bounce when he was a little steep with his swing, he could still have solid contact with the ball. It was crazy seeing someone “shaving down” their club, but it makes sense to me now why someone would want that done.
As I’m walking around the course and going from place to place, some pros and interviewers remembered me from The Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach! I thought that was really cool and it made me feel a little bit like a celebrity.
Later, we were able to go over to the tenth tee where we could walk along with the pros while they were playing in the Pro-Am. I was not quite sure who we would walk with, but was really surprised when we found out we were with Tom Kite, Tom Watson, and Tom Lehman. They are among the best golfers on the Champions Tour right now and all really nice guys with really good advise. When we were walking with Tom Kite, we thought it was really funny because he did not want anyone to call him ‘Mr. Kite.’ One of the amateurs called him “Mr. Kite” and he responds with, “Don’t call me Mr. Kite. I don’t like that Mr. Kite stuff.” I think that’s really cool how the pros are just regular guys and they want to get to know everyone. Mr. Kite strolled down the fairway talking about football, the crazy Minnesota weather, and everything the amateurs were talking about. I remember one time he was still talking almost right before he hit his shot. He proceeded to crush it and then just picked his conversation like he had not even stopped. Not too many guys on tour can do that! For the few holes I watched Tom Kite, he helped his fellow team mates with their grip, reading their putts, and even where to aim the ball on the hole. Tom Kite is a very personable man who wants to have fun and play good golf.
Around 2 o’clock and we decided to head back to the Media Tent because it was getting rather hot outside. As we are sitting in the Media Tent, David Frost, last year’s 3M Champion, comes in to get interviewed b the media! The reporters and I sit in the back row, listen and watch how an interview is conducted. I even got to ask him a question. That was fun. He was saying when he grew up in South Africa everyone plays rugby and cricket. While he likes both of the sports, he just isn’t quite big enough to play rugby so he started playing golf. He conducted a great interview. It was really interesting because he kept having flash backs of last year while playing here, but he does not want to think too much about last year. It was exciting to hear how he planned to hopefully win again.
Soon after David Frost left, Andy North and Peter Jacobson walk in and have a casual sit-down and talk to us about their experiences with golf and how they started playing golf. They both have such interesting lives and they both started in non “Golf Mecca’s.” North grew up in Wisconsin and Jacobson in Oregon. It’s always reassuring that I can also be a professional golfer because not everyone on tour comes from Arizona, Florida, or Hawaii. You can have snow on the ground nine months out of the year and still be an amazing golfer. These gentlemen were genuinely excited to talk to us about their experiences. Normally you would think if two competing pros got together to do one “interview” per-say, they would be very different and it would be a little choppy. However, these men were very classy and bounced off each other. It was great knowing that there are pros that really get a long on tour and have a ton of fun on the course.
At the very end of the day, there was a Nike Golf Clinic hosted by John Cook. He took us though his routine on the driving range before he goes to play in a tournament. I was pleased to find out that I already do some of the same things he does! He starts off with small chips and then works his way into a slow full swing. Gradually changing into clubs with less loft with slightly faster swings. But what I really like, is that the last shot he hits with his driver is the last shot he will hit on the course. That is a great way to get ready for the tournament. After he hits his driver, he moves back down to some full pitching wedges and finally the club he will hit on the first par 3. He takes a few practice swings with it on the ground and then he tees his ball up. He does all of his range work in 45 minutes, proceeds to the putting green for 15 minutes and then walks to the tee. His whole routine only takes one hour! Cook then gave out free mini-lessons and I got to have one. I started off taking some practice swings with a Nike Vr Pro 7 iron and right away he said I had a great swing! I hit a few shots pretty solid and he didn’t know quite what to say. Then I hit one a little thin and he told me to twist my shoulders more at an angle. I did. I hit the ball so flush! Today was a blast. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store!
Blog #2 Liz Bauernfeind, age 17
The First Tee Junior Course Reporter Day 2
The First Tee of Three Rivers Park District
Today was another amazing day at TPC Twin Cities! We first started out learning about how all the cameras and Golf Channel worked their magic. It was really intricate in every trailer. In the first trailer we went into was the graphics. I walked in and there was no room to stand and about 30 different little televisions lining one wall. Everyone was talking to someone on a headset about which camera to show on the network next. It was really cool seeing all the cameras hooked up to different televisions. Then we walked over to the audio trailer where a huge desk top was full of audio dials and faders for the perfect sound on the network channel. It looked like such a stressful job. If one little thing went wrong then the whole channel would look bad! That’s a lot of pressure.
After the trailers we had lunch in the Media Tent and proceeded to the course. We had about 40 minutes to watch some players. We went to the 18th hole and saw a lot of pros try go for the green on their second shot. We watched Keith Clearwater stick his shot inside 15 feet from the pin! It is amazing to see what the pros can do, even under pressure.
Later we got a tour of the clubhouse. I really liked that! We even got a tour of the men’s locker room (because there were no men in the room). All the lockers had the player’s name on a plaque, we took our picture with Arnold Palmer’s locker. Lots of the players ask to have their shoes cleaned during the tournament. So after they are cleaned they are set outside of their locker. It was really cool to see all the shoes everyone has to wear. There was even a pink pair of golf spikes. I thought it was interesting that the members of TPC Twin Cities had to give up their lockers for a week and they get to play at Hazeltine Golf Club or Interlachen Country Club while the tournament is going on. The golf courses have a close connection and help each other out when big tournaments are in town.
After the locker room we went upstairs to see where the players get to eat after their rounds. While we were up there we got to meet Hollis Cavner who runs six different PGA Champions Tour Tournaments. While we were talking to him he told me that he was talking with some people and he asked me if I would ever like to caddie sometime. I said, “Totally! That would be amazing!” Thinking that I might be able to caddie next year or hopefully sometime. Then Mr. Cavner asked me, “So are you busy on Sunday? I was wondering if you could caddie in Arnold Palmer’s group?” I just about leaped out of my skin! “I could caddie on Sunday. That works perfectly!” I exclaimed. I cannot believe I could possibly caddie on Sunday in Arnold Palmer’s group. I hope I can caddie on Sunday, it would be a great experience to hear how the pros think. That would be great insight for my golf game. This has been the best summer of my life and it’s only getting better!
Intensity and Fun: Otherwise Known as the Champions Tour
By: Sara Detlefsen
Senior in high school; nationally ranked junior golfer, and National Honor Society and Phi Theta Kappa member.
Media credentials; that was all that it took. Just one little badge that said ‘Sara Detlefsen, Media’ to change me from an avid golfer and golf fan, to a reporter. A junior on-course reporter, that is. With this one little badge, I was able to walk into the Media tent with confidence in my step and a notebook in hand. I was able to duck under the ropes, into the world of the professional golfers. I was able to talk one-on-one with the champions of the Champions Tour, and got a feel for who they really are. I was able to observe and understand their routines, as well as the extent of their love for the game of golf. By the end of the day, my little notebook was covered in scribbles and quotes, ideas of what to write were racing through my mind, and memories were being sealed in my heart, sure to be kept there forever.
My first time inside the ropes, I was lucky enough to follow Tom Kite. I was introduced to him, and the fun began. Upon insisting that he be called Tom, rather than Mr. Kite, he told a story about Harvey Penick. “Until he was well into his nineties,” Kite explained, “whenever anyone addressed him as ‘Mr. Penick’, he would say, ‘Mr. Penick is my father. My name is Harvey.’” Kite then walked up to the tee, set up to the ball, and striped his drive straight down the fairway. The pro-am group watched in awe, then erupted in applause. Throughout the round, group received treat upon treat, served up by Mr. Kite. He gave them their exact yardages, calculating in factors such as wind and slope, and he read their putts. He always encouraged them; regardless of whether his teammates were in the trees, bunker, or putting for par, he was ever positive. He even worked with his group on their swings! He bent down and altered one man’s setup, thus curing him of his wicked slice. After that, he discussed the upcoming collegiate football season with that same man, debating whether Oklahoma State or Texas will be the better team. But with what seemed the flip of the switch, Kite went from the life of the party to the focused shot maker that we all know from TV.
I only needed to watch a few players to understand that almost all of the men on the Champion’s tour find the same balance of intensity and fun as Kite. During my interview with Peter Jacobsen, a famously boisterous and hilarious player, I got the chance to ask him how he separated his personality and focus. “I asked Trevino the same thing,” Jacobsen said, “he told me that when the club is in your hand, you’re in the focus. When it goes back in the bag, you’re in the present.” Andy North, who was also in the interview, gave his two cents. “Ben Hogan maybe ruined the game for most people, because of his focus. Now, everyone thinks they need to be like him. They forget to have fun!” North accredited his success on the golf course, year after year, to having fun with golf. “As a kid, I would get in trouble with my dad. He said that I screwed around when I practiced, because I loved practicing fades and slices.” North laughed, “But now, I am always in the trees, and need those shots I practiced all those years ago.” Both North and Jacobsen said that kids need to love golf; they should play games and just have fun with it.
It wasn’t until meeting up with Chip Beck’s group on the fourteenth hole, that I really understood how these talented men manage to have fun on the golf course, and still maintain focus. Following in the tradition of his fellow Champions’ tour competitors, Chip Beck was spirited, passionate, and a heck of a golfer. One of the only tour players to have broken 60! His humorous and cheery disposition kept his group laughing all the way around the golf course. Beck was proud to introduce his playing partners, eagerly explaining each of their personal stories and accomplishments. Then, he asked me to join him on his cart. What an opportunity for a junior reporter! I asked him how he manages his energetic personality and his tournament-style focus. He explained, “You have to have a light spirit and a confidence in your ability. You must look at the big picture and enjoy the day. Remember why you love the game. It is impossible to stay intense and focused for an entire round—that kills my game. However, as I have gotten older and matured, remembering that today’s round is not life or death has gotten far easier. You have about thirty seconds to be in the shot and focus, and then you need to leave that world.” This philosophy seemed to be a recurring theme in the Champions’ tour. Practicing what he had just preached, Chip took his bottle of water, drank half of it, and doused his caddy and I with the remains. I continued on with Beck for four more holes, each one holding new insights into his life and some pretty deep thoughts. I got to ask him what advice he would give to kids, such as those in the First Tee. He stopped a moment to consider the question, then replied, “Honestly, the best advice I could give anyone would be to follow your heart. Look deep into your skill sets and abilities. Realize that if you’re smart and have the capacity to get good grades, get them! But, you really have to follow your heart. You cannot go with golf [as a career] if your heart isn’t in it. If that’s the case, study hard. If your heart is in it, follow that.” Once again, Mr. Beck easily transitioned from intense to lighthearted; turning from our discussion to joking with his group. Then he proceeded to effortlessly hit the par five 18th green in two shots, and make an easy two putt for birdie. The sun set on my experience with him, when he shook my hand and said goodnight.
Blog #2 Tradition meets Technology
Second day at the 3M
Walking around the 3M championship, I found myself right in the middle of the meeting between old and new. Tour veterans, some of whom had turned pro in the nineteen fifties, were surrounded by technologies which could befuddle the mind of any teenager of the twenty-first century. Between the golf channel equipment and the tour fitting vans, the extent of the technology, at a sporting event put on to celebrate a game with such a history as golf, was incredible! Joey Spindelar, one of the leaders at 6 under, touched upon this during a press conference, “Kids today have grown up with 60 degree wedges and balls fit for them. Now, kids can hit fabulous flop shots, and bomb it! The only thing that can serve as an equalizer is firm and fast—green, I mean. But, you know, that’s the way it is: time is marching on.”
Today, we began at the ShotLink trailer. ShotLink is the program that communicates every stroke that the players take to the media and the families watching at home on TV. First, volunteers take handheld devices, and ente in where and when each of the players had their shots. Then, the handheld devices communicate all of this information to the ShotLink system, which then calculates the projected leaderboard, the projected winnings, and the players’ stats. It was an incredibly intricate web of communication.
After the ShotLink trailer, my three fellow reporters and I were lucky enough to get a tour of the TV trailers. There must have been a thousand cords, plugging into each of the cameras, mics, and computers. Each truck we stepped into had what seemed to be hundreds of screens, with feeds of the players or unoccupied holes. These screens and the panels of glowing buttons that controlled them were the only lights in the dark trailers. Everywhere, people were talking. “Cue slide three!” “Standby for commercial in 30.. 29.. 28..” “Couples misses birdie on fourteen!” Meanwhile in the background, the generators that kept everything up and running roared. It was a wonder that people could keep track of their thoughts, let alone put together a show. Yet, despite the noise, the random shouting, and the dark, cramped spaces; the show went on! Our guide put it this way. “You just need to remember, all of these cords and feeds, all of the noises and commotion: it all mixes together just like ingredients in a cake mix. As long as you can know the eggs from the sugar, and put them all at the right times and in the right order, you can create a great kind of cake: A TV show.”
We left the mess of trailers, blinking as our eyes adjusted to the bright sun. A quick and delicious lunch, and off we were again. We stopped at the clubhouse for a tour of the player’s only areas. During the tour, which included the locker rooms and the Oak Room, we were treated to some ice cream! After our snack, we headed to the fitness trailer (which was completely exclusive to players). Here were rows of state of the art machines, dedicated to keeping the players in good health. Physical therapists and personal chiropractors attended to every need. After gawking for a few minutes, we exited the nicely AC’d trailer.
Our day at TPC was nearly done. Dismissed to either attend the press conferences or watch the action on course, I decided to find one of the players I had gotten to interview pretty in-depth: Chip Beck. As friendly ever, Mr. Beck and his caddy, Mr. Frame, cheerfully greeted me. “Sara, girl, are you still working?!” Beck shouted. I took the opportunity to ask them just a few more questions after the round. “We did pretty well today,” Mr. Frame said, when I congratulated them on the five under par round. We finished up by talking about one of Mr. Beck’s favorite of the First Tee core values, respect. “Kids these days, they don’t respect authority nearly as much as they should. Honor thy Father and Mother, now that’s the Good Book for ya,” said Beck, indicating the meeting between old and new once again.
In closing of my article, I would like to thank everyone who made these two spectacular days at the 3M championship possible for me and my fellow junior course reporters. It really was an incredible experience, which I know would not have been possible without their support. Particularly the extremely welcoming people in the Media tent, at the Champions Tour, ShotLink, and Golf Channel trucks, and Brian Simpson (who was amazing in setting everything up).
3M Championship Junior Reporter
The First Tee of St Paul
I had my notebook, pens, laptop, and camera all in hand while I made my way to the shuttle bus, filled with anticipation to be a junior reporter for the second year in a row. This bus would take me to the TPC Twin Cities golf course where 3M is sponsoring the 3M Championship. I made my way to the exclusive media tent where I had to pass through the security, I felt like a professional. After meeting the actual professional media personnel, the junior reporter group made their way to the driving range. At the driving range, Callaway had their equipment trailer filled with all of the latest gadgets. The Callaway pros explained to us how they could tweak little things on a club to produce the best result for the golfer. The Callaway pros even let us test out the latest drivers and hybrids.
After hitting some golf balls on the range, we were heading back to the media tent when a volunteer at the tournament stopped us. He was very interested in our reporting and applauded us for our involvement. He also made sure to load us up with two snickers bars each for the walk back. Upon arrival at the media tent we had the opportunity to sit down and talk to a Pioneer Press writer, Tad Reeve. He has worked for the Pioneer Press for many years, and shared with us his personal career experiences in the newspaper industry. He had many great life lessons for us regarding our careers. One in particular was to find your passion. His passion has always been writing for a newspaper ever since he was a young child. His continues to think, “there is always a hidden story that is waiting to be found”.
We had time for a quick lunch break before we were back on the job. We headed to the tenth tee where Claire Troxel and I had an amazing opportunity to walk three holes with Dana Quigley. He shared his background and how he started the game of golf as a caddy when he was fourteen years old. He continued to talk about the game and said, “golf takes so much work to be good, you have to just grind.” Dana Quigley’s attitude and work ethic is clearly evident. He plays between “forty-five and fifty-four holes each and every day” in West Palm, Florida, “even in the summer,” he added. Dana Quigley’s on and off caddy of twelve years, Tom Randall, shared nothing but wonderful remarks about Quigley. Randall said, “He [Quigley] is the easiest player to caddy for. It’s not even work! He always makes other laugh especially with his smart alec remarks.” Randall continued to say that, “Quigley has a great attitude, which is exemplifier for others.” The pair of Quigley and Randall love to joke around and place bets. Claire and I even managed to win some of the earnings. Walking those three holes with the two of them was truly an experience I will not forget.
It was getting hotter out and we hiked back to the media tent. In the interview room we had the great opportunity to sit down and talk with Andy North and Peter Jacobsen. Both professional golfers started playing the game early in their lives. At a young age Andy North was informed that he had a bone disease, which impaired him from playing many sports. However, the doctor said he could play golf if he rode in a golf cart. So, golf became his new pursuit. He said, “It’s about dream, desire, and passion.” He continued on to say, “I enjoyed practicing, so I kept getting better.” Because of his dream, desire, and passion he won the City Junior tournament at the age of fourteen. This tournament is still his “most memorable win.” Peter Jacobsen also started the game of golf at a young age. He shared, “My dad taught me to play [golf] by imitating other players, like Arnold and Trevino.” He went on to share life lessons that he believes are crucial. “Use golf as a big part of your life. Most importantly, don’t compromise your integrity. Remember who you are and where you came from.”
While we were finishing talking with Andy North and Peter Jacobsen, David Frost walked into the room for an interview. Peter Jacobsen joked, “Write down every word this man says, he’s a genius! Seriously.” Frost laughed and said, “I learned everything I know from him [Jacobsen]”. After the witty banter Frost went on to be interviewed. He is the defending champion from last year’s tournament. Regarding the round today he said, “I had a good feeling walking up eighteen because that’s where it all ended last year.” While he is refreshed from not playing this past weekend, unlike other players, he said, “There are so many good players out here, so nobody is afraid to win. I am not going to try to strategize shooting the magic score. I’m going to go with the flow, and deal with pressure by sticking to my routine.”
Following the several interviews, we headed back outside to try to follow the local Minnesota boy, Tom Lehman. We caught him trying to eat his hamburgers, quickly, for lunch on the tenth tee box. He joked around and said his favorite food to eat was “everything unhealthy.” Lehman then graciously posed for a picture and signed autographs. He went on to say he was playing well and enjoys the break from the scorching Arizona heat to the hot Minnesota weather. We then caught up with the group in front of Lehman. Tom Watson was in this group. We had the opportunity to be introduced to him and ask him a few questions. We then watched his beautiful tee shot on a par 3, which landed on the green feet away from the flag. Lastly, we walked back to the media tent, packed up our things, and said our goodbyes for the day.
I am so thankful that Minnesota is able to host such a fun PGA Champions tournament. I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow!
3M Championship Junior Course Reporter
August 6, 2011
Driving to the TPC golf course for my second day as a junior course reporter I was so excited, I could not wait to find out what we would be doing today. I used my media pass to park in the VIP parking lot right next to the golf course. They did not even question me. Then I walked over to the media tent with my pens, notebook, and laptop in hand once again, waiting for an untold story to come along. Upon arrival in the media tent there was a breakfast extravaganza in the back room. Donuts, fruit, bagels, eggs, bacon, sausages, potatoes, and juice all caught my eye. The food and service the past day had been outstanding. After quickly grabbing a glazed donut I took a spot at one of the long tables and began to read the Pioneer Press. I found two articles written by Tad Reeve. It was interesting to read the columns that he had written, right next to us, only the day before.
After finishing my donut and the latest paper, the junior course reporters headed off to the ShotLink trailer. In this trailer we met many knowledgeable people like Jenny Eckert and Keith Newton. They explained to us that ShotLink gathers crucial information about the players, like yardages, stats, and historical data. A side benefit is that the ShotLink data also enhances the broadcast and is used by the media. Jenny Eckert continued on to share her background with us. She started as an intern in the Champions trailer while she was in college and has continued to remain working with the same staff since then. “We spend more time with these people then we do with our families,” Eckert said. “We talk every day, even when were on our breaks.” Her career path inspired me because a dream job of mine would be to work in the golf industry. She had great tips and advice that could help with future possibilities for my career.
After spending time in the ShotLink trailer, we walked to the Golf Channel trailers. A television and radio production specialist, Eric Thomas, was gracious enough to give us a tour of the trailers. The Golf Channel has numerous trailers on the course. Two of these trailers are extremely necessary because they contain the generators that the Golf Channel requires to provide their power. The other trailers contain the sound, graphics, different camera angles, a timekeeper, television announcers, and importantly the director. The organized chaos that went on inside of these different trailers was unbelievable. I would have never thought the coverage and production of a live golf tournament would be that hectic. I loved it.
After watching a few of the live Golf Channel segments, we ventured back to the nicely air condition media tent for sandwiches and strawberry shortcake. Next we went over to the expo tent where 3M kindly gave us all bags overflowing with 3M goodies, including the famous Post-its. We continued on with our break by sitting in the shade by the eighteenth hole’s fairway. We watched multiple groups bravely try to land their balls over the water and on the green, in hopes for a shot at an eagle. Some players even succeeded.
We continued on with our afternoon tour of the TPC Twin Cities clubhouse. The general manager, Alan Cull, gave us a sneak peak into the pros’ locker room. Inside the locker room there were multiple flags, balls, and three golf bags that all of the professional players had signed. The flags, balls, and bags will be auctioned off later and the proceeds will go to the military. In addition, Alan Cull went on to tell us, “This year the minimum amount this tournament will make is 1.3 million dollars. These proceeds will go to the benefit of health care programs at Allina's Abbott Northwestern Hospital.” Cull also shared with us, “This tournament has raised around 17 million dollars since 1993.” We then took a trip to the upstairs, which contains the player’s dining room. There we ran into tournament director Hollis Cavner. He was so enthusiastic about the event and our reporting. He continued to talk with us for a while before he offered us to help ourselves to the ice cream sundae bar. The ice cream covered in fudge, Oreos and whipped cream was a great way to end the tour.
After leaving the clubhouse we stopped by the fitness and therapy trailers. The therapist and chiropractor explained to us their jobs. “The pros come in, typically an hour before their rounds, to get a massage or work on the areas where they have pain or discomfort.” After conversing with them and looking around the surprisingly spacious trailers, we headed back to the media tent for a quick drink break. After quenching our thirst, we headed back to the course to watch the players finish their rounds. Later in the day my dad even joined me at the golf course. We stood by the eighteenth green to get a few autographs from the pros as they finished. It amazed me how many of the pros remembered me from our conversations and interactions over the last two days. It truly made me feel special. After the last group of Houston, Calcavecchia, and Crenshaw finished their round, my dad and I headed back to the media tent to pack up my things. I said my goodbyes for the year and thanked many people for allowing me to participate. Thank you to 3M for sponsoring this great event. I especially want to thank Dave Senko and John Hultquist for everything they did to make my two days so memorable and exciting. Also, thank you to The First Tee and Brian Simpson, because without them I would not have had this wonderful opportunity to participate in the Junior Course Reporter program. Not only has The First Tee made it possible for me to have the Junior Course Reporter opportunity, but The First Tee has also taught me the nine core values, (honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgment). This solid golf foundation has helped empower me to start Kids to the Rescue, which is another goal.
Claire Troxel, age 18
Junior Course Reporter at The 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities
The First Tee of St Paul
If there were one word to describe the setup of the TPC 3M Championship it would be: impressive. From the dedication of the 86 professional golfers, to the simple wholeheartedness of the volunteers, there is never a dull moment at this event. As a junior reporter, through The First Tee program, the opportunity was given to hit Callaway range balls, sit down to private interviews with renowned players, and the chance to walk along side a few holes with the golfers, on the side of the rope you always aspire to walk on.
The more intimate interviews were with Peter Jacobson and Andy North: both former Champions tour title-holders. They both agreed that they play golf because it’s more than a hobby…it’s a passion. Jacobson then admits “The game gets more fun when you get better.”
Another thing that I found impressive was the chemistry between fun-loving Dana Quigley and his loyal caddy Tom Randle, who also loves a good laugh. Walking along side the two on holes 10 through 12, it was easy to see the undeniable friendship. While interviewing Randle, he states that he wouldn’t rather caddy for anyone else. Out of the 56 other pro golfers he has caddied for, he claims Quigley always has the best attitude about the game and aspires to someday match his scores.
After a long day of reporting, the air-conditioned Media tent was the perfect end. Overall, it was an amazing first day at the tour. The experience is truly incredible.
Claire Troxel, age 18
Junior Course Reporter for The 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities
The First Tee of St Paul
The beautiful morning of August 5th begins back at the media tent, day two of Junior Course Reporting at the 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities. As players enjoy their considerably later 11:00 AM tee times, everyone involved with running the PGA Champions tour hustles to make sure everything is operating smoothly before Zoeller’s first drive.
Our first stop of the day was the PGA Champions tour trailer, where we met with Mr. Senko (Media official), Mrs. Eckert (Tournament Operations Producer) and Mr. Newton (Director). The tour of their trailer consisted of explaining: the importance of all of their staff, the data-collecting system known as ShotLink and the need to find amazing local food while in the Twin Cities area.
Next, we ventured to Golf Channel’s multiple trailers to get a behind-the-scenes look at how that aspect of media works at a golf tournament. The first things I noticed in every trailer were the thousands of wires, outlets and switches, no doubt all serving a very importance purpose. The trailers were divided up into the different components of the broadcasting, from audio to camera operations. 3-dozen screens in the camera coverage trailer, lit up with different camera shots covering the event, all precisely operated and switching from player, to player, to commercial break.
By 12:30 PM we were given some time to watch the tournament. We picked the shadiest section of Hole 18, right by the dreaded body of water restraining players from their hopeful eagles. While observing, it was hard not to notice how enthusiastic these experienced professional golfers still are about the sport they’ve based their lives around for decades, which to me, is truly amazing to witness. In fact, the passion of these players may be a huge factor to the crowds at the tour. Peter Jacobson states, “I fell in love with chasing a ball around.” And that love is mutual for the many players of the championship.
As the day winds to a close, we make a brief stop at the fitness trailers, then make our way to the clubhouse for a tour with the course General Manager. We begin with a peak into the highly maintained locker rooms. Then, we stop in the players dining area, where we are treated with ice cream, which was perfect considering the temperatures of the mid-day heat. Once we spent enough time in the air-conditioned clubhouse, we made our way to Hole 9 to see Fuzzy’s last put of the day.
This was an unbelievable couple days to say the least. As a Junior Course Reporter, we were able to see how every element of the tour functioned which was a once in a lifetime opportunity. There is so much effort was put into running a golf tournament. I want to sincerely thank everyone at the TPC who introduced the Junior Course Reporters to such amazing aspects of golf, especially within the media. Everything about this experience will be remembered.
Jack Kinsman with Champion Tour Player Dana Quigley & Tom (Caddie)
Jr. Course Report
3M Championship 2011 Thursday Pro-Am
A Day of Firsts
Hello, Jack Kinsman here again. I was brought back as a Jr. Course Reporter for a day at this year's 3M Championship for a follow up report on my experience last year with pro golfer Dana Quigley. Today, I thought that Dana would not remember me, and just think of me as another reporter. Boy, was I wrong. At the practice putting green an hour before tee off, Dana and his caddy for the week Tom Randall were engaged in a relaxing putting contest before his Pro-Am round when he looked over at me and said "You aren't Jack, are you?", to which I quickly quipped, "Yes, I am". After the first greetings between Dana, Tom, and I, I told them I was back to do another story on Dana himself. He said it would be a pleasure of his, and that I could follow him on a few holes with Tom in the cart. On the 10th tee, Dana hit a magnificent drive and let me clean his 9 iron after his 2nd stroke, after which we began conversing about our respective favorite baseball teams, the Cubs and the Red Sox. Dana made par on the 10th, and Dana's amateur partner, Luke Stalj, made birdie to bring his team to 1 under. Luke was utterly amazing on the first three holes, making two birdies and an eagle, an astonishing score. On the 11th, Tom, had me drive the golf cart through the hole as Dana hit his second and third shots, which was my very first time driving anything, let alone a pro golfer's cart as he is in a tournament. It was very nerve wracking at first, but I got the swing of things after a few holes. As the day progressed, I became Dana's caddy for the day as I wiped down his clubs, gave him distances to specific hole locations, and helped him choose which club to use on specific lies. It was also the first time I had caddied anyone before, and who better to caddy than a golfing great in Dana. Dana didn't treat me as just another reporter, he treated me as a true friend, trusting me to help him during his round as he prepared for tomorrow's first round in the 3M Championship, and I took that trust as a true sign of friendship from one of the game's best players. Dana also said that the offer was still open for me to go to Boston and take in a game in Fenway, which hopefully I will oblige to in the future. Tom, Dana's caddy, also helped me when I was nervous about driving the cart, telling me it was a "learning experience". He also showed me how to find out the yardage of specific lies, which I used later in the day. My experience with Dana and Tom was one I will remember forever, and I owe them forever for everything they did for me. I wish Dana and all the players the best of luck in the upcoming championship, and I hope they all know how lucky they are.
Jr Reporters with Tournament Director Mr. Hollis Cavner
Jr Reporters with Champions Tour Staff Jenny Eckert & Keith :Fig" Newton
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE THAT HELPED WITH THE JR REPORTING PROGRAM