The Tennessee Sport Management program and Partners in Sports have been involved with the Knoxville News Sentinel Open golf tournament since 1997. The golf tournament was intertwined with the program’s event management class for more than a decade as students earned class credit for working the tournament. Students were involved in all aspects of the tournament from scoring operations, course ecology, driving range operations to working with hospitality and tournament management. Each student in the class regularly logged more than 45 volunteers during the week of the tournament. The move from the tournament from June each year to August shifted the amount of hours working at the tournament but Partners in Sports has stayed committed to it. Students regularly completed internships with the tournament and volunteer to assist with specific aspects of the event during tournament week.
The News-Sentinel Open presented by Pilot is one of the four tournaments remaining from the original Hogan Tour which began 1990. The tournament has been contested at Willow Creek Golf Course, Three Ridges Golf Course and its present home since 1999, Fox Den Country Club. Partners in Sports and the Tennessee Sport Management program have been involved in the Knoxville event since the mid-1990s and students have worked countless hours at the event. This event allows students to gain experience in the operation and management of a professional golf event and a chance to network with community leaders and members of the PGA TOUR staff. The Web.com Tour is the developmental tour for the PGA TOUR and the is the pathway to earning playing privileges on the PGA TOUR.