The First Tee Course ReportersNovember 02, 2010
PGA TOUR staff
Editor's note: First Tee members Kimberly Delen-Briones and Charlotte Woo will be serving as Course Reporters from the Charles Schwab Cup Championship on Wednesday.
Wednesday, Nov. 3
A great learning experience at the latest TPC addition Charlotte Woo
Today, Nov. 3, 2010, I was lucky enough to be able to talk to many people working at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, California. I learned more about what the rules officials, meteorologists, physical therapists and golf course superintendents do to get ready for a tournament of this magnitude. I also had the chance to talk to the Director of Players Relations for the PGA TOUR and later the President of Golf Course Properties and Executive Vice President of Championship Management for the PGA TOUR, Mr. David Pillsbury.
For most of the morning, we spoke with various people and watched many players in the Pro-Am tee off for their round. We then spoke with Mr. Pillsbury before watching several more players tee off.
While speaking with Mr. Pillsbury, I was curious as to how Harding Park was chosen as the newest member of the TPC Network. He told Kim (the other course reporter) and me the reason was because Harding Park is one of top three public courses in the nation with its fabulous greens and great fairways. The TPC network hoped to attract more people to the beautiful course by adding their label to the Harding Park name. To keep up with the thirty TPC Clubs, top rate golf course maintenance teams have been hired so that the courses are maintained up to TPC standards.
I was also curious as to what it was like being the President of the entire TPC network and what other positions he had previously held. Mr. Pillsbury was promoted when the person in his current position retired. His current job requires hard work, but he loves every minute of it. The work is extremely meaningful to him both on a business and personal level.
After our great meeting with Mr. Pillsbury, it was time to watch some golf. It was incredible to watch these top notch players in their normal element and then be able to sit in on their press conferences in the media center. Being so close to people such as a Fred Couples and later Commissioner Tim Finchem was a great way to wrap up our day.
Behind-the-scenes excitement at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship Kimberly Delen-Briones
At the crack of dawn, my adventure began; I had been waiting all week for this. The weather was perfect for the culmination of the Champions Tour season; it was sunny with a slight breeze. Today was the Wednesday Pro-Am at The Charles Schwab Cup Championship at TPC Harding Park. As I passed through the gates, I was greeted by many kind faces and I immediately saw San Francisco Giants jerseys everywhere. This was not because they had just won the World Series but rather because it is part of a special charitable imitative between the tournament and the Giants. Each caddie was wearing a jersey proudly on their backs and these jerseys will later be used to raise money for charity, something the PGA TOUR is very familiar with.
After getting our first glimpse of the some of the golf action we walked to the media center, which would be our home for the day. It was extremely spacious, yet very busy; much of the behind-the-scenes work is done here. After getting settled down, we were off to interview people and learn more about what goes on behind the scenes at this tournament. We learned about each person's job and why their job is important. There are so many things to get done by different people and each one plays an integral role in running a successful tournament. It is like a jigsaw puzzle; if one is missing, the whole thing would not function properly.
We roamed around the golf course interviewing many different people including Mr. David Pillsbury. Mr. Pillsbury has been the President of PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties for four years and is very fond of this week's venue, TPC Harding Park. He stated that, "Harding Park is one of the top three public courses in the whole country." He chose Harding Park to become a TPC because it constantly challenges the best golfers in the world. By putting the TPC name on it they will be able to showcase this property to the world.
The highlight of the day was getting to sit in on several players' press conferences. Being so close to these elite athletes was an incredible opportunity. It was an amazing opportunity to be in a conference room. I was able to witness how it feels to be in there with reporters from many media outlets, it was truly heartwarming.
During the press conference Fred Couples received a firefighter helmet in honor of his donation to the California Fire Department Trust. Sandy Tatum was recognized for his dedication to this golf course and to The First Tee of San Francisco, he even received a Certificate of Recognition and a Declaration from the Mayor that this week (November 1 - November 7, 2010) is officially "Sandy Tatum Week." Like the rest of the course, the room was glowing with energy. A great send off for a great day at the golf course!
Blogger Biographies Kimberly Delen-Briones
My name is Kimberly Delen-Briones. I like to play sports, such as volleyball and golf, shopping, art, and watching movies. I was born in San Francisco but I lived in the Philippines for eight years. I moved back to America in 2003. I have been with the First Tee of San Francisco ever since it started in 2004. I am currently in Eagle Class. I have been volunteering at the First Tee every summer since 2007. In the summer, I volunteer about 5 days a week from 8 in the morning to 8 at night. For the past two years, I have led the Fairway Fair with two other people in the summer. The Fairway Fair is a family event that the Eagle class holds each summer since 2007. We plan the whole event which includes games, prizes, food, etc. Currently, I am sophomore at Lowell High School.
My name is Charlotte Woo, I am 14 years old and I have been a participant with the First Tee of San Francisco for four years. During my years with the First Tee, I have been able to volunteer, if it's helping with an event for the younger First Tee students or working to help with tournaments happening at Harding Park. If I didnt participate in the First Tee, I know I would not be where I am now in life.