‘Champions for Youth’: Farmers Insurance Open highlights careers

students part of the champions for youth career tour at the farmers insurance open.

The ‘Champions for Youth Career Tour’ hits the fairway, taking dozens of younger adults to the Torrey Pines Golf Course during the annual Farmers Insurance Open PGA Tour.

These individuals were selected by nonprofits to learn more about the breadth of careers involved with putting on a professional golf tournament. The Farmers Insurance Open runs now through Saturday, Jan 27, and is part of the PGA Tour. The morning-long event began on Jan 24, the same day as tournament play. About 30 college-aged people gathered for the opportunity, hosted by The Century Club of San Diego, a nonprofit organization that also organizes the Farmers Insurance Open. The Century Club looks forward to leveraging the tournament “for the betterment of the community,” said Jennifer Cota, executive vice president, communications & community affairs for the organization. The visitors were sponsored by three of the Century Club’s nonprofit partners: Just in Time for Foster Youth, San Diego Youth Services and Promises2Kids.

Visits included touring the broadcast trailers in the CBS Sports compound, a lesson in data technology, meeting with local journalists, learning from tournament operators and more.

Working for CBS Sports at a tournament like the Farmers Insurance Open is “the ultimate team sport, and it’s very interesting and very complex,” said Russell Cunningham, field technical manager with CBS. “If everybody’s working in lockstep, we really have a really successful show and that’s our objective,” he said. The team also works “to be inside creating a larger perspective to make these events that we cover … feel the scope that they are,” Cunninham said, noting he came to the job with a degree in technical broadcast journalism. “It’s all about getting to know everyone and working with people,” he said. In the ShotLink trailer, the group learned from Justin Bush about the data analytics used to enhance golf reporting. Overseeing the technical operations for ShotLink entails monitoring “the radars around the TV screens, the cameras that we put all over the course, the Wi-Fi network, the whole fiber layout” and more, Bush said. ShotLink operators also employ AI to learn “more about how [golfers] walk, how they swing” and inform statistics about players and predict where golf balls will land. Seeing the behind-the-scenes work of a professional golf tournament caught the interest of Destiny Cole, a former foster youth who now attends San Diego City College and receives support from Promises2Kids for college payments, career opportunities and more. 

“I’m just trying to take advantage of just going to any event that I can to educate myself and learn more,” Cole said.  

The Champions for Youth career tour hopefully did that for all in attendance, showcasing “the variety of opportunities they might not have considered and hopefully … connect the dots for some … who may not have had the chance” otherwise, Cota said.
Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.
Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.

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