Day 1 at TPC Southwind: New Experiences
June 3, 2013
By Glenn Hill II
MEMPHIS, TN- They say you cannot make a first impression twice. There is no need for a second attempt for me because my first day at the FedEx St. Jude Classic was wonderful. A quaint 78 degree morning mixed with nervousness and excitement. To witness the same golfers and reporters that I see on television religiously in person was truly a dream come true. With such a great opportunity to be a First Tee Junior Course Reporter, I felt that this day was nothing short of amazing.
They say experience is your best teacher; so, I began the day with a firsthand interview from News Channel 3’s Markova Reed. After learning more about the in’s and out’s of interviewing from Mrs. Reed, it was time for some on-the-job training. Immediately I was launched into the deep end of journalism and took my first interview with TPC Southwind’s first female golf professional, Michaelyn Bradford. With cameras rolling and my heart thumping, my first interview was complete and I could fully take a deep breath. I had gotten the first load off of my shoulders. Now it was time to get to work.
My second interview was definitely a nerve-racking one as I was able to steal a couple of minutes of Jack Sammons’ time, the General Chairman of the tournament. This tournament cannot merely be as successful as it is by happenstance; this tournament, as Sammons describes it, is “a twelve month operation.” With plans and preparations for the next year that happen the Monday following the completion of the tournament, it truly takes a unified Memphis community to make this tournament a success. A good part of the reason the FedEx St. Jude Classic attracts more and more spectators and professionals is the 1800 volunteers that work this tournament. With such an outstanding number of willing participants, this tournament cannot be anything but successful. One could argue that another contributing factor to the tournament’s success would be its legacy of great volunteers. Sammons spoke very highly of his volunteers and emphasized the fact that this year he has three volunteers with “fifty-year pins.” Truly this volunteer village has bought into the fact that they can raise this tournament up to be the best that it can be.
Another wonderful sight to see today was a young man playing a very poised, focused, and polished golf game at the tender age of fourteen. The PGA TOUR’s recent phenom, Guan Tianlang, plays a brand of golf that I rarely see out of fourteen year-olds. It was very motivating and inspiring for me to watch Tianlang play all eighteen holes in the pro-am. I was able to see how consistent his swing was and how focused, yet relaxed, he stayed throughout his round. With his father there every step of the way to watch, coach, and motivate his son, I know that Guan Tianlang has a great support team behind him.
I am so thankful for the PGA TOUR and the First Tee of Memphis for giving me such a wonderful opportunity. I look forward to the rest of the week and making more memories of a lifetime, like today.
Glenn Hill II, a senior, is an exceptional student and talented musician at Harding Academy. He holds a 4.05 weighted grade point average and scored 28 on the ACT. He currently ranks fifth in the senior class. He has been selected for the All West Senior High Band, Orchestra and Junior Band. He also was 1st Chair in the University of Memphis Honor Blue Band (top band). He has been an orchestra member in two school musicals and was selected for All Southwest Chorus as a Tenor 2. An integral member of the school’s senior wind ensemble, jazz band and orchestra, Glenn is also the principal trombonist in the MemphisYouth Symphony. As a trombonist he has received many awards including junior band award as a freshman and the Barry Lumpkin Outstanding Musician Award as a junior. Last summer he was the recipient of the Summer Trombone Scholarship at the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts held at MTSU. Glenn is an extraordinary role model for younger students. He is vice-president of the senior wind ensemble and takes this leadership role seriously. He makes a positive impact daily and has the respect of his peers.