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Notebook on The 2017 Golf Media Outing at Karsten Creek

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On Thursday, Kyle Boone, Carson Cunningham and I headed up to Stillwater to play Karsten Creek in the Oklahoma State golf media outing before interviewing coordinators and coaches. We got some great videos of coaches (which we’ve posted) and had a terrific time. I thought it was worth a notebook to recap our thoughts on the festivities.

• Every four-player group is some combination of football coaches, athletic department employees, media personalities and local boosters. Our squad was me, Boone, Cunningham, Jason Elmquist of Stillwater NewsPress and graduate assistant Remington Rebstock.

• I should stop here to note that we were the only group of five because somebody (me) forgot to submit Boone’s name for the event. An extraordinary gaffe considering the circumstances. Literally all you have to do for this thing is submit names via email and show up. Two things. And we somehow could not get it done.

Considering the circumstances — our first invite, first time to play, recently credentialed etc. — it was incredibly embarrassing.

• Rebstock was a terrific partner. This is his third season as a defensive grad assistant at OSU — he was previously with Bill Snyder and Co. in Manhattan — and he has a close relationship with Joe Bob Clements who also came from Kansas State back in 2013. We got some great Bill Snyder stories (he once tried to bring a VCR with recruiting film on a cruise!) and talked a lot about the difficulty of recruiting and moving up in the coaching world.

• The most interesting thing Rebstock said about Gundy (to me, anyway) is that Gundy is big on letting his coaches and GAs be innovative and independent. A player’s coach and a coach’s coach.

Remington Rebstock [OSU Athletics]

• Elmquist brought a “Phil Mickelson at Augusta National” level of course knowledge to the table for our team. It was pretty unbelievable.

Throw this shot off that back right ridge and it will run down to about four feet from the pin.

Jason, it is truly incredible that you know this course that well, but that information would be a lot more helpful if I wasn’t a 12-handicap.

• The best line of the day came from someone in our group that I won’t sell out at this moment. The other guys were asking about my round at Augusta in April (HAVE I MADE IT PUBLIC ENOUGH THAT I PLAYED AUGUSTA NATIONAL IN APRIL?) and I told them about how you tip your caddie there.

Me: “Yeah, they tell you not to do it so you keep it real low key and slide them a bill on the 17th green. Very underground.”
Person I won’t sell out in our group: “Oh, so just like SEC recruiting.”

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Jason Elmquist [OSU Athletics]

Kyle Porter [OSU Athletics]

• The format on the day was a scramble, and our team finished fifth with a 7-under 65. I was little to no help on the day off the tee, but I did lip out a true eagle on No. 18 from about 40 feet. Incredibly, Carson lipped out the same eagle putt right after me, and we had to settle for birdie. That was about it for me for shots of the day. Boone and Rebstock both legitimately almost dunked aces on separate holes.

• One thing about Karsten I didn’t realize is how your tee ball is either in the center of the fairway or it’s gone, ejected, sleeping with the copperheads behind Mike Holder’s house. I lost more golf balls than anybody in our group, I think. Best advice of the day came from cowboy backs coach Jason McEndoo: Buy Wal-Mart stock the week of this tournament because their golf ball shelves are cleaned out by Wednesday afternoon.

• Kasey Dunn is no stranger to loaded units, and there were rumors (and rumors of rumors) about him stacking his golf team every year with ringers and sandbaggers. His squad finished second this time around, and there was legit disappointment in his eyes when it was announced they’d been upended by a 60 from Wade McWhorter and Ryan Cameron’s group.

• The post-golf media availability is a total free-for-all which is awesome for people like us looking to talk to coaches we don’t often get to talk to. Following a lunch of nachos and fruit (all the juxtapositions), coaches are stationed at various tables for you to just walk up and talk.

We only had time to talk to McEndoo, Spencer and Yurcich which was a bummer because the other assistants probably won’t be made available throughout the year. I really wanted to chat with Hammerschmidt, Henson and Dunn, but Spencer sucked us all in for a good 30 minutes!

• The line of the day went to Yurcich who posited that Tyron Johnson just might be able to get around me if we were both in a phone booth together. He winked and said, “You look like a heck of an athlete, though” with his tongue buried in his cheek. Awesome.

• I thought it was really intriguing to talk to McEndoo because of the day-to-day nature of his work. When you talk to Yurcich and Spencer, they speak and exist at a really high level that is good for getting an overall vision of the program (like Gundy’s pressers) but not as good for understanding what goes on every day in the lives of players and coaches. McEndoo talked about the struggles of recruiting 17-year-olds and about the process of a player like Keenen Brown going from receiver to cowboy back. It was a really engaging conversation.

• Probably the best part of the day overall for us was when Boone asked Spencer a question and Spencer interrupted him, pointed that index finger that has probably pointed at so many great players’ faces over the years at Boone and said, “What’s your name?” “Kyle Boone,” he responded. “You do a good job, man. I appreciate it.”

Pretty cool stuff and a great start to the football season for us. I will be off for the next week or so but back in Stillwater for fan appreciation day on August 5.

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