Meet Payton Connelly: First Tee Phoenix On-Course Reporter

Through a partnership with the WM Phoenix Open and the First Tee – Phoenix, I was able to experience what life is like through the eyes of the media and exclusive behind the scenes on the PGA TOUR. It was incredible being able to speak with many of the people that work in the sports media industry!

The day started with speaking with several members of the Thunderbirds which also sponsor the WM Phoenix Open, to meeting many of my favorite PGA TOUR Pros that are playing in the event. I felt a bit anxious at first while talking with many of the celebrities – and almost dropped my friend Caden’s phone. Whoops!

However, I was excited to talk to someone so popular in the golf industry, only to discover that they were just like me, a human that loves the game of golf. While talking with Jim “Bones” Mackay, he explained to us that everyone in the field is playing through the challenges of the weather. Bones also mentioned the fact that everyone will face extreme adversity throughout the week and that everyone was feeling the freezing cold temperatures just like I was.

All in all, everyone in some way, is fighting to persevere through challenges. When talking to Ben Griffin, ranked 91st according to the World Golf Rankings. I had asked him about his golf career and TikTok journey to learn why he does it and chooses to share his story.

Griffin mentioned that he enjoys sharing his POV experience on what it’s like playing each week on the PGA TOUR. “We can all be famous whether its golf or social media, we are all human.” Said Griffin. Through my personal experience as an on-course reporter, there is one big thing that hit me on the drive home. No matter where you are in life, we are all just regular people and nothing great comes easily. Perseverance is just hard work, and that hard work will get you to where you want to go – whether that means becoming a notable public figure or landing your dream job.

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