Business students get on-course golf experience
By Mark Heller
GCU News Bureau
A dozen Colangelo College of Business students and recent graduates of Grand Canyon University got the chance of a lifetime last weekend: They assisted with course management, event operations and media relations at the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament.
Junior JP Saar and 2014 Sports Management graduate Grant Zapara both shadowed PGA Tour radio broadcasters for an up-close-and-personal view into the world of sports broadcasting and event operations.
Saar went inside the ropes and drove the cart so Fred Albers could provide play-by-play for eight hours during each of the four tournament days for Sirius/XM radio.
“It was unbelievable, a perfect opportunity,” he said.
Zapara was with former LPGA Tour winner-turned-broadcaster Jane Crafter.
“It was an incredible experience,” he said. “One of the best weekends of my life.”
Beyond the many photos and videos each took for their own personal collections, plus being shoulder-to-shoulder next to the best golfers in the world, there was much to observe and learn through on-the-course training.
Saar was told growing up he had a broadcaster’s voice to complement his many opinions. He also helps out with intramural sports and GCU.TV. He picked up a few nuances on decorum and what to say and not to say as he learned where to position yourself as a broadcaster.
“It was about what I expected, but you can always learn something from the broadcasts and the ways they do things,” he said.
As with their 10 other peers, the weekend also allowed students to work with the same professionals all four days, an important component whenever possible toward future opportunities.
“(Crafter) was extremely nice, and I learned a lot about what happens behind the scenes of golf tournaments,” Zapara said. “Most of the broadcasters said in order to really get your foot into the sports world you have to be able to pick up the phone and call someone that you may know.”
Contact Mark Heller at (602) 639-7516 or firstname.lastname@example.org