My Experience as a Junior Course Reporter at the Waste Management Phoenix Open – Anah Hargrove
By Anah Hargrove, The First Tee of Phoenix
February 2nd, 2018
The Phoenix Waste Management Open was a wonderful experience for me. I received an abundance of information and made memories I can share from time to come. I gathered tips and tricks of the trade about golf and practice of the sport. Not only did I learn a variety of skills and methods throughout this experience in golf, but also about journalism, fitness and health. I figured there is an art to walking the greens, from which I acquired lots of exercise and navigating through mobs of people. I learned how eating healthy and being fit can be an influential contribution to one’s game. I fought with the crowd, marched up and ran down hills, and had the wonderful opportunity of meeting famous golfers and eating delectable food. I walked in with minimum knowledge and two hats. I walked out with newfound knowledge and two autographs on those hats.
I had the honor of meeting Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Tony Finau, Smylie Kaufman and more. As courses reporters, my partner Mark and I asked about the importance of fitness and healthy eating. Phil Mickelson responded by emphasizing the importance of health in eating and fitness. Next, I inquired about the importance up strengthening the upper body. He stated how lower body strength is more important to strengthen, while upper body strength is just as important. He told me exercises I can do like squats, lunges and twists. I learned how to keep a great attitude in the game of golf from Rickie fowler. Rickie Fowler told me to be me when playing the game of golf. He mentioned keeping cool under pressure and not thinking too hard when approaching a shot. Tony Finau told us about how we can practice at home by using simple items, like a stick. He told us how it felt to be the longest driver in the PGA. I case you’re wondering, he said “it feels good!” Erik Lang, a producer and known for Unsolicited Advice with Erik Lang with Vice told Mark and I about getting yourself out there and starting small. He made comments about the universe. He indicated its significance in how things fall into place and opportunities come to you. He mentioned how his success came to him, but it did not mean he did not have to work hard for it. He also mentioned how one should do what he/she likes rather than what the world likes, because someone else out there likes the same things as you. I asked Smylie Kaufman about attitude on the course. Kaufman mentioned the importance of keeping a good attitude and trying your best even when things look tough. I met Chantel McCabe, a sports reporter and journalist for NBC Golf. As an aspiring journalist myself, I asked questions about her job and what it is like. She told me she pretty much “lives out of a suitcase”, and that work is at the top of her list so dedication is important. She has been on the road for “23 days” and counting. She told us in response to Mark’s question, “How to talk to a famous person and captivate their attention” that one must have courage and be persistent. She also stated that one must “build a relationship with the respondent.”
I admire Phil Mickelson’s love and admiration for this generation and the next. He cares about getting millennials involved in the game of golf and sharing the tools to do so. I admire Rickie Fowler’s cool and collective attitude and “chill” countenance. Erik Lang is a cool down to earth person who believes in him rather than others. Tony Finau is crafty with his numerous ways of practicing on the course. I admire Chantel Mccabe because she makes sacrifices and tough decision and works hard to be where she is. Because of her encouraging advice, I was able to get the attention of Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson.
All in all, I am very blessed to have lived in this opportunity, for I have definitely lived a dream for myself and others. I saw how those golfers out there are just like me in a variety of ways. We both struggle, have ups and downs, and value the same techniques. Watching golf in real life is much more exhilarating than seeing it on television from the couch. For such a quiet sport, golf speaks volumes. Hopefully one day I will be like Rickie Fowler or Phil Mickelson being interviewed by The First Tee’s course reporter.