A Day In The Life With Golf Channel College Insider Steve Burkowski
As the NCAA D-I Golf Championships have descended upon Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark., Golf Channel College Insider STEVE BURKOWSKI has been getting plenty of screen time on the net covering all the action. With the women's teams deciding a champion this afternoon, and the men’s teams teeing things off on Friday, it’s the busiest two-week stretch of the year for Burkowski, who has been covering college golf for over 20 years. He has his routine around championship weeks down, but he's still no match for Mother Nature. Before the weather shifted a few tee times around this week, Burkowski spoke to THE DAILY about his schedule around the tournaments.
6:00-8:00am: On Monday and Wednesday I get up and try to get in a quick two to three-mile run or hit the bike for 30 minutes. Then I come back, shower, clean up and make sure I have my coffee. Tuesday there’s no workout, there’s not time because I’m at the golf course by 6:30. I want to be on the range or by the first tee by the time they’re teeing off. I leave the players alone, but I lean heavily on the coaches. Then we have a rehearsal at 7:30.
8:00-10:00am: On Monday I head out to the course at about 8:30 to do a lot of prep. We don’t focus a whole bunch on the team’s winning, or who is in second or third -- it’s those teams battling for that seventh and eighth spot. Tuesday, we have a pregame show at 8:30 that I’m on, then I go to the booth at 9:30. Wednesday is “Breakfast With Burko.” About five years ago I started reaching out to coaches. I want to spend a lot of time with them because by this day there’s two teams left, 10 players. We have a lot of airtime with theoretically not a lot of golf. I spend 30 minutes with each coach.
10:00am-12:00pm: On Monday at 10:30 we do a full rehearsal. Tuesday our broadcast starts at 10:00 and I’m in the booth calling holes alongside BOB PAPA. We have eight to nine holes each. We do the quarterfinal matches until about 12:30. Wednesday I go out to the course at 10:30 and there’s a meeting with the NCAA to go over the logistics of the award ceremony later that night, which I host.
12:00pm: Each day there will be a meal -- maybe I’ll have ten minutes to grab a quick bite on the fly.
1:00-3:00pm: On Monday and Wednesday our pregame show starts at 1:00. ALAN ROBISON heads up our on-site news elements and produces a wonderful show. I’m part of the show until about 2:30, then they’ve got to clear me, and I take a 5-minute cart ride and get up to the booth because we’re about 20 minutes away from our broadcast starting. On Tuesday, between the quarterfinals and semifinals, I talk to the coaches and try to gather intel.
3:00-7:00pm: Every day we’re on the air calling the action. Monday is the race for eight -- who’s going to make it to match play? Tuesday is the semifinals and Wednesday is the national championship match. You’ve got to be ready for every possible scenario that presents itself.
7:00-8:00pm: I get out of the booth and go right back to set and I’m part of our postgame show. On Tuesday I'm live with the two final coaches with a big board and they put their pairings up for the championship match. On Wednesday, I do the trophy presentation on the broadcast.
8:00-11:00pm: I head back to the hotel and grab a quick bite to eat. Some good local spots are Local Lime, Big Orange, Theo’s, and Bocca. On Monday and Tuesday, I do an hour or two of prep for the next day’s matches. Usually it’s probably too late to FaceTime my boys, LUKE and CHASE, and my wife, KATE, they’re probably asleep. But I try to keep in touch with them. It’s a balance when I’m on the road. My wife is critical. I try to find a window to talk or text and see how they’re doing.
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