I’m sure some golf fans who are in attendance at this week’s JELD-WEN Tradition at Crosswater Golf Course have heard of the two junior reporters who are writing a few articles for the tournament website. But many don’t realize what it’s like for these two teenagers to have all-access media credentials during a tournament as prestigious as the Tradition.
I was honorably selected to be one of these junior reporters and it’s been a fantastic experience like non other.
As one of the junior reporters, my first order of business was to attend the Nike Golf Product Demo at the Bend Outlet Mall. I thought it was one of those deals where I just had to show up so that I could meet some people from Nike and introduce myself as one of the reporters.
Boy, was I wrong.
Not only did I meet some unfamiliar faces, including my fellow reporter, Hannah Goldstein, but also I was part of a photo shoot. Hannah and I went around and tried out some demo clubs and participated in other fun-filled activities while a professional photographer snapped pictures of us.
Lastly, a local radio station interviewed me. I was asked why I thought the opportunity to become a junior reporter for the JELD-WEN Tradition would be fitting for me. I said that writing and golf are my two biggest passions, so why not do something that combines the two?
My first day on the job happened to be the day of the Pro-Am Championship. Knowing that I’d have the chance to walk a few holes and interview a pro was very exciting.
I ended up getting to interview four-time Champions Tour winner John Cook. Although it was my first time having a full-on conversation with a professional golfer, I felt comfortable and relaxed while talking to him. I walked with his group from holes 10 to 14, before heading back to the media center, where I would then write my first blog of the week.
I would soon find that another perk of being a junior reporter, besides having the chance to walk inside the ropes with a tour professional, is getting free food!
At the same time, being a junior reporter isn’t all fun and games. Usually, I put in eight hours of work per day, which may include editing and then finishing up an article at home. But whether I’m putting the final touches on a writing piece late at night, or interviewing a tour pro, I’m enjoying every minute of it.
Not only have I interviewed some big names in golf, but also a few news stations have interviewed me, including my counterpart, Hannah.
On Wednesday, Bend’s local KTVZ reporter, Ted Taylor, interviewed the two of us and we ended up getting to be on television that night. I also had the fine pleasure of being introduced to Peter Jacobsen, who is quite a character. I had always wanted to meet Jacobsen because he is a Portland-native and he attended my current school, Lincoln High. Go Cards!
Wednesday also included attending Nike Golf Junior Day. Before the clinic began, I interviewed Bob Tway, who was the featured Tour pro at the clinic. Hannah and I were later introduced in front of the kids who attended.
In the afternoon, Hannah and I attended the Nike Golf Junior Shootout. We witnessed the top high school golfers in Oregon team up with some Champions Tour pros in a four-hole scramble. Being a high school golfer, I found this event very special because it was cool to see how the young golfers and the Tour pros interacted with each other. Everyone had a superb time on the course, and getting to watch the likes of Jay Haas and Fred Funk was truly amazing.
Over the course of this week I’ve met many famous golfers. For most of Thursday, I followed the grouping of Tom Watson, Bernhard Langer, and Tom Kite. I introduced myself to Watson and Kite as they were coming off hole nine and making the turn. To no surprise they both turned, and politely said “hello” back. What an amazing moment!
Being here this week at the JELD-WEN Tradition has further inspired me to continue my pursuit to become a writer and I’m grateful and honored to have had the chance to be a junior reporter, something many teenagers my age don’t get the chance to do.