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 Connor Mason, a senior at Drew Charter School.
By Connor Mason
Another awesome week as a Drew Charter School Senior Golfer!
Winning the state championship was one of the highlights of my high school years and golf career and this week things got even better. I had the opportunity to serve as a standard bearer and volunteer media correspondent for the Tour Championship. When I wasn’t working, I had the chance to talk to and even practice with many of the professional players.
To start this phenomenal week off, this past Wednesday, my teammates and I had another round of interviews with the news network at the Charlie Yates Golf Course. In between the interviews, we got to meet and talk to many of the professional players who were to compete in the tour. Each of us got personal advice from the pros. Golfing pro Kevin Kisner watched me hit a few balls and gave me valuable advice I will never forget. He talked to me about how to best use my driver and how to widen my stance. It was an honor to get that kind of expert advice from such high ranking professionals.
Later that day, we were able to go to East Lake Golf Club and have a clinic with Tony Finau. He not only gave golfing tips but he provided advice on life skills, as well. He took the time to tell us about things we should avoid that could take a toll on our minds and bodies. He stressed to us how bad vaping is. Vaping is a big thing with kids my age. Hopefully his words will make kids think twice about doing it.
On Thursday, we watched one of our own, Drew Senior Academy golfer, Hailey Fisher, hit the inaugural tee shot. That was an honor for our school and team. After that, my teammate, Benjamin Harper and I were able to film and direct a live video streaming on instagram of the tournament from our perspective for the PGA Tour. We followed two players, Tony Finau and Tommy Fleetwood. After the round, Benjamin and I were able to ask Tony questions and talk with him about the golf round, his thoughts and experiences. He seemed more than willing to spend time with us, even after a hot, exhausting day. I’ve realized that most of the players are just regular nice guys who play golf really well.
On Friday, I had the chance to serve as a standard bearer for golf professionals Kevin Kisner and Ricky Fowler. This experience was a lot of fun and very enlightening. I realized that professional golfers make mistakes just like we do and are as human as we are. I saw a few golfers hit their balls into the water and into trees. I also saw first hand how they kept their cool and wits about them and recovered from those mistakes.This made me feel like I can do the same. It’s refreshing to see professionals make mistakes like us in any sport or profession we do. We expect them to be flawless and to only have mishaps when they are dealing with variables outside of their control. There was a time when I doubted myself as a player, especially when I made repeated mistakes, but now I know that even the best veterans do some of the same things and many times they still finish well! Life is full of ups and downs and challenges. It’s how we recover that makes all the difference.
I am so grateful for these experiences of a lifetime!