Nationwide Tour leaves egg on golf writer's face
Let me take you inside the world of journalism for a moment. Unless you live in Columbus, Ohio, you probably won’t care much about the specifics of this behind-the-curtain story, but the broader brush strokes can apply to almost any situation. And I wouldn’t tell this tale except my arse is chapped about it.
The Nationwide Tour is sponsored by an insurance company based in Columbus–you’ve seen the “life comes at you fast” commercials. However, there are no Nationwide events in the greater central Ohio area. Nationwide head honcho Jerry Jurgensen is an avid and accomplished golfer and has said in the past that he’d like to see an event in the company’s back yard.
Magazines such as GolfWeek have been saying there would be a Nationwide event this year in Columbus, and the local newspaper published an article in mid February saying the same. Neither had any named sources—just speculation.
I am the editor of a magazine called GolfStyles Ohio, and I researched the story and had an identifiable source – Nationwide’s advertising and brand officer John Aman. Aman told me that the tour stop was only speculative and that it didn’t appear anything would happen this year. The current issue of my magazine has a story saying as much.
So this morning, I get a call from a PR guy telling me that I should definitely be at the Jack Nicklaus Museum on Ohio State’s campus tomorrow, Feb. 28, for a “big announcement.” Gee, let me see if I can piece this together. Ohio State just had former Buckeye Jack Nicklaus renovate its Scarlet Course last year, the press conference is at an Ohio State building and Jerry Jurgensen is the featured speaker. You think maybe there really is a Nationwide event in Columbus this year?
Frankly, I don’t care whether the boys from the Nationwide make an appearance in Columbus or not, I care about credibility. And right now, thanks to playing by the established rules of normal journalism and steering away from unnamed sources and speculation, I don’t have much on this issue. As they say in Battlestar Galactica (great show, by the way), “frak me.”
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