Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Prof. Charles Miller
Prof. Emile Davis
Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
My project serves as an exploration of life in minor league golf, particularly the Web.com Tour, which is the Triple-A level of professional golf. In order to conduct research for my project, I hit the road for a few weeks of summer 2012 and traveled to Tour events in far-flung places such as Springfield, Missouri; Greenville, South Carolina; Evansville, Indiana and Wichita, Kansas. While at the events, I watched plenty of tournament golf and interviewed dozens of players on various topics, ranging from the differences between the PGA Tour and the minors to caddies. Along the way, I kept a running blog of my research and experience, where I mixed event coverage and stories with narration about my life on the road.
For the written portion of my project, I looked over my blog to find a wide variety of interesting stories that could combine to provide a cohesive picture of life on the Web.com Tour. I assembled a selection of these stories – from event coverage stories, to player profiles, to parts of a series on my week spent as a caddy – and put them together as a narrative that allows the reader to get a full sense of my experiences without going through the blog and reading every single post. I also added an introductory section that gives the reader a sense of my rationale for devising the project.
My research method for the project took the form of aggressive tournament coverage and focused heavily on personal interviews. While at the events, I would spend full days at the course, getting there before the first players teed off and leaving after everyone had completed play for the day. I followed some groups for the whole round, and interviewed other players after they completed the final hole. I based my questions on prior knowledge of players acquired through preliminary research, as well as their current play and position in the week’s event.
To me, the significance of my project is that no extensive research has ever been conducted regarding the lives of players in minor-league golf. Superstars like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are written about extensively, and national publications always make sure to devote complete attention to the PGA Tour and other large-scale events, and little to no attention is devoted to minor-league events as a result. As a golf lover and aspiring golf writer, I have never been able to read much about minor-league golf, so I felt a desire to learn about it myself. If I can conduct more research over time and eventually get enough material to publish a quality book, I can make sure that other golf lovers like me can learn more about the Web.com Tour if they wish.
Prise II, Kevin Michael, "One Step Away: Life in Minor-League Golf" (2013). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 92.
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