FIRST TEE REPORTER ANDREW HAYSLETT
Hello, my name is Andrew and I covered the WM Phoenix Open as a junior course
reporter with another First Tee participant Emilee. I had an amazing experience interviewing a
number of different people, from golfers to broadcasters to security. One of my dreams is to
become a sports broadcaster and to achieve this I will attend the Walter Cronkite School of
Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in the fall.
What I found interesting is the number of people that said yes to interviews with us. I
thought it would take a number of times to get an interview, but when my partner and I asked
people to be interviewed, they all said yes. For example, my partner went up to Sam Burns who
was fairly frustrated at the time, because he had recorded a double bogey on his penultimate
hole, and he stopped and answered a few questions she had for him. This made me feel like we
were accepted into the media circle. Once I felt this, I was looser and less tense compared to
the interviews I did earlier. This allowed me to know that I mattered to these people which
means a lot to me.
One thing I learned is how to keep your composure when you are talking to important
people. The first interviews we did were with police officers and the gentleman who created the
thunder dog which was less intimidating compared to the players. This allowed me to build up
my confidence, which is one of First Tee’s nine core values, which came in handy when I
interviewed the Golf Channel broadcasters Rich Lerner, Brandel Chamblee, & Paige McKenzie.
The confidence allowed me to ask deeper and more thoughtful questions, for example, how do
you say the same thing in different ways. I asked this because Brandel had mentioned that a
key to being a good sportscaster is to be able to say the same thing differently. He replied that
he might use the shots Jon Rahm does not have in his bag and how he adapts to having to play
holes with the shots that he has. This made me less stressed when my partner and I
interviewed players, which boosted my confidence so I could give good interviews with players.
For example, we learned that Xander Schauffele did not expect wind until he arrived at the
driving range and his caddy told him there would be wind throughout the day. Now that I know
how to keep my composure, I feel that I can give good interviews with anyone that I see
tomorrow, anyone from a marshal to a food vendor to a player.
In conclusion, I learned that the majority of people say yes when you ask to interview
them and how to keep your composure when I interview people. I had a blast when I got to visit
the Golf Channel skybox and broadcast studio. I look forward to continuing this experience of a
lifetime tomorrow! Thank you to First Tee and everyone for making this experience happen!