Eye on the Tiger
my exciting day at the PGA Championship
The PGA Championship attracts members of the worldwide media for the annual event, held each August at a top-flight golf course somewhere in the United States. Little did the PGA realize that when they accepted one media credential, they were allowing in a writer for an arts and entertainment magazine in western Wisconsin. I now take you, the Volume One reader, behind the scenes at a major sporting event, as only Athletic Aesthetic can do so.
This event is one of four “major” championships held throughout the golfing season (along with The Masters, U.S. and British Opens), and this year marked the second time it has been held at Hazeltine National Golf Course in Chaska, Minn. On the advice of Bill Rolland at the conclusion of my column interview with him earlier this year, I decided to acquire a media pass. I applied, got the pass with surprising ease, and made a one-day trip on Saturday, August 15.
I had attended the PGA Championship as a spectator in 2002. That Saturday seven years ago featured a 50-something-degree late morning with gusty winds and a bit of a wind chill, and ended with a glaring sunburn-inducing sun by early evening. For my second sojourn to Hazeltine this year, I knew I needed sunscreen, but not a winter coat; the forecast called for average August temperatures. The sunscreen proved unnecessary: clouds were present for most of the day, even a bit of rain (with plenty of threats of storms in the surrounding dark skies).
What is the experience of being a media member at a major sporting event? The following is the PGA Championship version.
After parking in a somewhat closer-than-normal lot, I entered the Media Center. Once registered (having received my cool polo shirt and picture badge), I walked to the banks of media desks, with large video boards and player standings at the front of the room. A mini-Mission Control, if you will. After getting copies of every event publication available, I took my stack of goodies back to my car and got ready for the main event: the Media Dining Center.