A Day at the John Deere Classic with Claire Benisch, First Tee of the Quad Cities Junior Course Reporter

6 07 2011

Today I learned that golf is not just professional, but family oriented as well. If you ask most golfers, you would get some answer related to “my dad got me started” or “my family is here today”. I think that is a great thing. Golf is also professional in that a player may not have had the best round and they have to go to a press conference and act like they are not upset. I had the privilege of talking to many people about this golf tournament. One thing for sure is that family is most important whether it is the family of volunteers or the golfer with kids ¬- family is family.

I was allowed the chance to talk with Brady and Curt Schnell. Brady is playing in the Classic this year and has been Nationwide and Dakota’s Tours. Curt is a professional golfer that is currently a teaching professional. When I talked with the two of them today I was able to learn about how Curt was able to teach Brady some of his tricks. Brady started golfing at age 8, but didn’t really get into it until he was a freshman in high school. He said his dad has given him a lot good advice but the best would have been “Work on your short game.” In the past Brady has had a large local following called the “Brady Bunch”. He said it is comforting to be around people that he knows.

Curt Schnell is very proud of his son. He had an opportunity to play in the Classic two years ago but turned it down to caddie for his son. He said that he is very excited that Brady is following in his footsteps, but is most excited that Brady made the decision to work so hard on his own. He has competed against Brady on the Dakota’s tour. I asked him what I should work on as a beginning golfer and he replied “Grip, set-up, and alignment”.

The highlight of my day today was the Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker press conference interviews. I had the wonderful opportunity to sit in on the two press conferences. I did not get to talk with Zach Johnson, but I got to ask Mr. Stricker a question. My question for him was “After having a tough hole, how do you prepare mentally to keep going, knowing you are so close to your third title here?” He replied, “To block that hole out and mentally start over.” Mr. Johnson stated that John Deere has done a “great” job creating and running this tournament, and that it is great to play here.

My comrade and I did a little math, here are some fun facts! For promotion of Deere, the company put $2,432,000 of equipment by the entrance. The cheapest piece of equipment is a kids’ gator for $400. The most expensive was a tractor/planter for $505,000. This is the only place you will see this array of tractors at a tournament on the PGA tours- FedEx Cup.

All in all, today was very fun learning about all the different facts about golf and that family is most important. I can’t wait to see and learn more tomorrow.

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