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

6 07 2011

Today, I got the experience of a lifetime. After winning a contest through the First Tee Program of the Quad-Cities, I spent the day at TPC at Deere Run as a Junior Course Reporter. I was able to meet some pros, volunteers, and many important people at the John Deere Classic. With my press pass, I was able to go “behind the scenes” to places where normal ticket holders could not enter (even my dad!!).

The day started off sunny and hot. I was able to get my press pass and off we went. My dad, partners, and I went to the driving range first to watch the professionals warm up. While I was there, I got to meet some of the reps from various golf companies and ask them a few questions about their occupations and new golf gear. My partner, Claire, and I were able to meet up with pro golfer Brady Schnell and his father, also a pro golfer. During the interview, we learned interesting, great tips, and advice from both of them. Their advice was to always have a good grip, stance, and to find something that your comfortable with each time you hit a golfball. I learned that Brady didn’t start golfing until he was eight, but didn’t really get competitive until he was a freshman in high school.

At ten o’clock, we got the chance to join in on a couple of press conferences with professionals Zach Johnson and two time winner of the John Deere Classic, Steve Stricker. Claire and I were fascinated by how a press conference works. Some of the press would just blurt out questions to the pros. Claire and I waited very politely to be called on. We didn’t get to ask any questions to Zach Johnson, but we were able to ask one question each to Steve Stricker. I asked a question that made the press room laugh at the answer from the pro. It was, “Do you have any family members that golf? If so, have any of them ever beat you?” He responded that his wife, daughter, and his brother-in-law all golf. When he said that his wife came close to beating him, the whole room erupted in laughter. Steve Stricker also said that his brother-in-law, Mario, had beat him once before.

After the press conference, I got the chance to see the pros in action. My dad and I walked some of the amazing and beautiful holes at Deere Run. When the day was done, we stopped by a local favorite ice cream shop, Whitey’s. We found out that during the week of the Classic, they sell around 5,000 ice cream goodies at their stands around the golf course. It was a very fun and interesting day, and I can’t wait to go back.

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