Tables fill the room. MacBooks and papers are scattered across the long black rectangles. Half-eaten sandwiches are left behind from reporters running out of lunch to catch Tiger’s birdie on the 18th hole at Torrey Pines South Course in San Diego.
The media center at the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament, held at Torrey Pines, is being supervised by PLNU’s kinesiology professor, Ted Vickey. I had spotted him wearing a green polo with a pair of green and black sunglasses as he made his way into the room.
Vickey worked eight British Opens, and this is his second year working as the chair of the media center at Torrey Pines.
“This is what I thrive for,” Vickey said. “Finding opportunities for our students to be able to come out here and to see what goes on, to learn what goes on.”
The vibrant energy in the media room shifted in between the three televisions in the front displaying the up-to-date stats as well as live video of the players crushing their drives on holes one through 10. The New York Times, ESPN, Golf Channel and CBS are just a few of the many major news organizations covering this event.
And next year, PLNU students have the opportunity to be a part of it.
Ted Vickey is not only opening up volunteer opportunities for the students of PLNU, but also trying to get them involved in internship opportunities with The Century Club as well.
The Farmers Open is run by a local group in San Diego called the Century Club. They just signed a contract that will have this tournament held at this course for the next seven years.
There are internship opportunities starting in October with the Century Club at their headquarters where they do pre-event logistical work, social media and marketing. The internship will end after the tournament is over.
The volunteer opportunities offered through Vickey are only offered through the week of the tournament. The students work two sessions throughout the week, and pay a fee of $40 to get a uniform.
The rest of the week, students are able to go wherever they want inside the tournament area, and are also are given a guest pass to give to a friend, family member or even a stranger.
Also, depending on jobs done by volunteers and hours put in throughout the week, those hours could be put toward an internship credit. The volunteer position can fit into anyone’s desired major as well. For example, journalism majors can be working in the media center next to major news stations, giving them the chance to ask questions and make connections. Business majors are able to work with the PGA Tour, Farmers Insurance, and many other businesses while volunteering at the tournament.
“I’m a firm believer that a lot of business gets done on a golf course,” Vickey said.
Even nursing and kinesiology majors can find their place working in the medic tent or the physio truck.
“If anyone at Point Loma loves golf, this is the weekend to be here,” said Vickey.
Cassandra Kelley, a masters student in kinesiology with a focus in sports management, was volunteering at this event under Vickey, and was thrilled with the opportunities she had been given to meet people and establish these relationships with some big people in her field.
“I’ve met different people from so many different outlets,” Kelley said. “It’s just nice to see that side of the business kinda how the tournament runs and it’s just great experience to put on a resumé. And I mean hey, I just watched Tiger tee off number one like inside the tee box so we’re good. It’s a good day.”