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Covering a PGA Champions Tour event

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    This weekend, a PGA Champions Tour event is taking place in one of the towns I cover.
    Usually, I'm at a loss for ideas on how to cover the tournament. I work for a weekly that is very local in nature and to be honest, if the tournament did not take place in town, we would not be covering it. There are no people who actually live in the town who are competing in it.
    The tournament is covered to death by the suburban and big daily papers, as well as TV and radio. I see no point in just writing about the guy who won it and how Arnold Palmer or Lee Trevino or somebody like that did.
    Because the tournament attracts tens of thousands of people into the community and it's the largest sporting event in town, I'm obligated to cover it, but every year I'm at a loss for fresh ideas and stories that nobody else would have. Does anybody have any ideas?
    And even though it's old news by the time my paper comes out, do you think the readers still want me to weigh in on how Arnie or ChiChi or somebody like that did?
  2. markvid

    markvid Guest

    How about how it affects the local economy, or something like how the pins get placed after each round, what decision making goes into it and how it's executed.
  3. aeroking

    aeroking Member

    Even if you have no local competitors, you most likely have dozens of locals volunteering. They're the ones who make it possible to run the event and you could certainly find someone with an interesting story to tell. Anything from driving the pros from the range to the first tee, to opening and closing the ropes when the fans want to cross the fairways, they're all volunteers. (A funny sidenote, not only do they work hours upon hours for free, they typically have to buy their uniforms as well).

    It wouldn't be a tournament story, but might be a nice way to localize it and tell about the experience through a local person's eyes. When I was at a small paper in the south we could always count on volunteers and the local pro, who can always offer something interesting since people will always get a kick out of seeing pros playing a course they know. And the local club pro wasn't about to big-time you since you'll be running his hole-in-ones at some point.
  4. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Now that Arnie and Chi Chi aren't there, who are the fan favorites? Who interacts with the crowd and who ignores them? The Champions Tour has taken measures in recent years to become more fan-friendly (they pick one fan to go inside the ropes with a group, for example), find out if it's really working.
  5. Peter Jacobsen
  6. SixToe

    SixToe Well-Known Member

    Page through the media guide player profiles to check their hobbies and see if anything cool or strange jumps out.

    Some of the guys collect wine, fish or hunt, maybe have a vintage car collection.

    How the tournament committee selects the pin placements is a good idea. Is it done differently for the geezers, as compared to the PGA or LPGA, and how?

    Visit with the local committee reps and the tournament PR manager and see what's been happening on the tour the last few weeks.

    Find out when the official starter gets there and see if you can hang with him one morning, or when the grounds crew arrives at the club to do any morning maintenance before the crowds show up. That could result in nothing or possibly an offbeat story.
  7. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Fuzzy, for sure.
  8. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member


    Check your PM. I sent you a rather lengthy one with some ideas.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I was gonna suggest this as well. Gets the locals in the paper, their efforts, brushes with greatness, highlights, complaints, etc.
  10. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    If Denis Watson is playing, he's got a great story with all the injuries he's had recently and coming back and winning the Senior PGA last month.
  11. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    they still have a champions tour?
    try doing something on the qualifiers -- sometimes a local guy might get in that way. even with no local player, a qualifier might make a good angle if you follow him for three days -- is he a guy who follows the tour from stop to stop trying to get in through qualifiers? that's a brutal way to go about it. is he a club pro doing a one-shot deal? get him to tell you what he would be doing if not playing -- picking the range or selling a sleeve of balls at his course?
    see if you can hang with a rules official for a day. there are plenty of angles out there that aren't gamer related. And, truthfully, it's the champions tour. nobody really cares who wins.
  12. Beaver Beat

    Beaver Beat Guest

    We had a Nationwide Tour event in my neck of the woods recently. We focused completely on the players once the tournament began, but in the week and days leading up to the event, I did a feature on the course superintendent (he rarely goes out and works on the course himself; I'm not sure many people would know that) and a feature on the course designer. I thought it was interesting to know that the designer developed the course with the idea that it would someday host a Tour event of some sort (be it Champions or Nationwide).
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