Throughout the TOUR Championship, a team of student correspondents from Drew Charter School are providing their perspectives from the tournament. This piece is written by Amanda Carter, a senior at Drew Charter School.
As the PGA TOUR Championship came to a close, I had an amazing opportunity to take a behind the scenes tour of the Golf Channel production trucks. There were nearly 200 Golf Channel/NBC Sports personnel working this week’s tournament.
Covering golf, is very different from covering football, basketball or any other sport. When I was taking a tour with Jeremy Friedman, Director of Public Relations, he said it had to be one of the toughest sports to cover! There are more than 30 cameras on the whole course making sure they get everything. Another big difference is in football or basketball there are timeouts, but in golf the play never stops.
The first truck I visited was with mostly all of the producers including Tommy Roy. Roy is a 29-time Emmy Award winner and has produced other big sporting events! Next to him was the co-producer Tom Randolph. Both were conducting which camera angle they were going to use, when the graphics needed to be put on screen, which golfer they were going to show next, etc. One thing I found interesting is that almost everyone was talking at one time, but later on when I spoke with Tom Knapp, executive vice president of programming and partnerships, he described it as “organized chaos.”
On Saturday, play ended at approx. 4:17 pm due to lightning which injured six people. This led to the end of play Saturday which meant they had to finish what was left Sunday morning. This also meant the production team had to come in extra early to prepare for play which started at 8 am instead of noon. Knapp spoke highly of his team, saying “This is what they do! The people in this TV compound are remarkable.” They prepared Saturday after play stopped to get settled for Sunday. Everything ran smoothly which was perfect!
While touring the different production trucks and speaking to executives, I got a better perspective on how much work goes into covering golf. Seeing how hard everyone was working at such a fast pace, and seeing how demanding the world of sports media is, really makes me excited for my future! I can’t wait to form bonds and travel to different events with my co-workers. Knapp describes it as a “traveling band of sisters and brothers” This experience helped me broaden my knowledge of all the jobs in sports media, and I am very grateful!