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Stadion Classic in full "swing"

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...no pun intended! Ha, ha, ha...

So, with the Nationwide Tour's Stadion Classic at UGA kicking off this week (an event that was won by Georgia's Russell Henley last season), Between The Hedges was on site to capture some of the action leading up to the tournament. 

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On Monday morning, a host of former Bulldogs were back in town and out at the course to participate in the Celebrity Pro-Am that afternoon. We caught up with participant Hines Ward before he teed off, and the former Bulldog and NFL star talked about how he loves coming back to Athens, his hopes to one day start a broadcasting and coaching career, and how he hoped to beat his old QB Mike Bobo on the course.

You can check out Hines' interview as well as some others right here, thanks to GTV.

Later in the day, the Georgia men's and women's golf teams held a clinic for children at the UGA Golf Course. Between The Hedges had the chance to talk to Georgia's Director of Golf Dave Cousart, who spoke highly of the event:

"It's a great event, one we normally have at the beginning of the tournament on Monday afternoon. We've got a great turnout too, looks like 150 kids or so, so that's our biggest ever--and when I say kids, we've got maybe 30 college students here, probably in addition to 150 little ones. We try to do it from three years old all the way up to college age. It's part of the Nationwide Tour, as you can see there's about 20 of those pros out here helping us. You've also got the Women's Golf team, and somewhere around here are the guys too. It's just a great, fun event."

We also spoke with Shane Todd of Chick-Fil-A Beechwood, the head sponsor of the event:

"This particular event is great because obviously, it gets kids involved. So Thursday through Sunday is the golf tournament for the golf fans, but here we get to focus on kids age three all the way up through high school. Chick-Fil-A is proud to be a part of that."


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Be sure to check out the Stadion Classic, as it's not every day a Nationwide event winds up in a small town like Athens! And you also might get to see a Georgia player or two out there! All the info you need is here

Golf and a concert!

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Happy Monday, Bulldog fans! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and got out to watch some of your Georgia teams in action as the university enjoyed more spring season success! 

One of the events that went on this weekend was the women's golf team's trip to Hilton Head, S.C. for the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate. The team wound up taking sixth in the weather-shortened 36-hole event, led by an even-par performance from Honda Award winner Marta Silva Zamora.

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But golf wasn't the only thing the team did in Hilton Head. The night before competition started, the team attended a (you guessed it!) Darius Rucker concert. This photo was sent to us by Silva Zamora, while head coach Kelley Hester tweeted the following! Wonder which artist the next tournament is named for!

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Pretty cool for Darius Rucker to serenade a bunch of female college golfers in our own private concet! 

Grady Students Gain Experience With UGA Athletics

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By Eliot Beckham, Sports Communications/Social Media intern, for "Between The Hedges."

"I strongly believe that the best way to teach journalism is to go out and do it," says Dr. Welch Suggs, as he surveys his students each interviewing a member of the Georgia women's golf team Wednesday at the UGA golf course. "I am a very big promoter of experiential learning, so I wanted to find an environment where students could get a wide variety of covering different events, and also being able to write different feature stories."

Dr. Suggs teaches a class new to the Grady School of Journalism this semester entitled Sports Reporting and Writing. The class gives an opportunity to students who are interested in the field of sports journalism to get hands-on experience interacting with student-athletes and covering events. Last semester, several of Suggs' students attended UGA soccer and volleyball games, conducted interviews, and wrote game recaps on deadline.

"What we're doing with sports in general, we're teaching the reporting skills that any journalist in sports is going to learn: reporting, researching, storytelling across a variety of platforms, and being an honest broker of information - not trying to sell someone a story, but really trying to present the news as we see it," Suggs said.

Events like Wednesday's media session with the golfers, where students played the part of the press in a brief press conference with head coach Kelley Hester before pairing off with the student-athletes for one-on-one interviews, accurately reflect the real process journalists go through on a regular basis. And despite the informal setting of the golf course on a pleasant afternoon, the atmosphere feels professional.

"As a student, I don't really get to do stuff like this very often," says senior journalism major Michael Terry, who is taking the course this semester while also working as an assistant in the UGA Sports Communications office. "There are people on one side of the fence who give the information, the side I've worked on most, and there are people on the other side who want it, so it's definitely different to be on the journalist's side. I think this class is helping me better learn what I can help a reporter with."

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Women's golf coach Kelley Hester speaks to Welch Suggs' class.

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Students conducted interviews with the golf team and will turn in a feature for class.


For more information, or to read the finished products, visit the course Web site, www.gradysports.uga.edu.

Hump Day Wrap-up

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The Georgia track & field teams are set to split up and go three different directions as they make their final preparations for the SEC Indoor Championships Feb. 24-26 in Lexington, Ky. This weekend the Bulldogs will compete at the Husky Classic in Seattle, the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., and the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, S.C. 

Bulldog senior sprinter Torrin Lawrence, who has the second fastest 200-meter dash time (21.12) and the fourth fastest 400 time (46.89) in the SEC this season, is returning to a track in Fayetteville, Ark., this weekend where he has had immense success. He not only won a national 400 crown in 2010, but he also clocked the fourth (45.03), fifth (45.10) and seventh (45.23) fastest collegiate indoor 400 times in history in the facility. Lawrence is the three-time defending 400 champion at the Tyson Invitational and will be going for four straight this weekend.

Click here for a video preview of the meets courtesy of GTV.

In other UGAAA news, the Athletic Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting yesterday, and approved funding for three exciting facility upgrades as improvements continue to abound across campus. Read the full recap of the meeting here.

Last night the men's basketball team poured in 81 points in its win over Arkansas, good for the team's highest SEC output of the season and most points scored in a non-overtime game in 2011-12. The game inspired a lot of chatter on the @UGAAthletics and @UGABasketball Twitter accounts, including the following:

@MouthoftheLyon: @UGABasketball brought home the bacon #beatarkansas

@BulldogBrock: #Dawgs win 81-59! What a huge victory! Way to go @UGABasketball

@UGA_Problems: Proud to be a DAWG! Great job tonight guys! @UGABasketball

A very happy @CoachMarkFox met with the media after the game, saying he thought last night was the first time all season his players got to enjoy the "fruits of their labor."

And finally, something pretty cool was going on yesterday out at the UGA Golf Course. More on that tomorrow here at "Between The Hedges," but for now, here's a sneak preview of what went on on a beautiful February day!

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Until next time, GO DAWGS!
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