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Sunday, May 9, 2021

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Tim Young Tim Young

Q&A with Tim Young, Farmers Insurance Open Tournament Chair

Young is the president and chairman of The Century Club of San Diego.
By Ryan Schuler

San Diego State University alumnus Tim Young (’91) has enjoyed a storied marketing career. Following his time at SDSU, he spent a year driving around the country in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Later, he played a big part in selecting AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” as the entrance song for San Diego Padres Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman.

Now, Young, who is president and partner of Southport Marketing, serves as the tournament chairman for the Farmers Insurance Open, which takes place Jan. 23-26 at Torrey Pines Golf Course. 

Young is the president and chairman of The Century Club, a San Diego nonprofit organization that hosts the Farmers Insurance Open to maximize support for the San Diego community and local youth programs.

The SDSU News Team spoke with Young to discuss preparation for the tournament, how SDSU prepared him for his professional career and what excites him most about the tournament. 

Talk about the preparation that goes into hosting a PGA Tour event. When does preparation begin? How many people does it take to organize an event like this?

The physical preparation begins in October with the tents going up and the structures being built. There are hundreds of workers that come to do that. The Century Club staff really works on the tournament year-round. That includes developing partnerships and working on outreach to build a volunteer base. 

We have two pro-ams on Monday and Wednesday. You have several hundred people playing where the pros play which is really cool. That’s a huge financial support for us and our charities. While I say planning takes a full year, the hardcore work takes off in late summer from a planning perspective. On the backend, there’s a lot to do after the tournament before returning the golf course in the beautiful condition we got it. We like to leave it in perfect condition for all those residents in San Diego that like to play Torrey Pines.

How exciting is it to see fellow SDSU alumni, such as Xander Schauffele and J.J. Spaun, participate in the Farmers Insurance Open?

It’s fantastic. J.J. (Spaun) is one of the nicest guys on Tour, and Xander is a nationally recognized name. The people of San Diego and the alumni of San Diego State love to support them. 

But if either wins the Farmers Insurance Open, they will actually not be the first Aztec to win this tournament. Back in 1989, Greg Twiggs, who is an Aztec, won this tournament.

What are your favorite memories when you think back to your time at SDSU?

My favorite memories are tied to athletics, going to football, basketball and baseball games. I would also say the professors that I had as a student, that became mentors and that I’ve stayed friends with. I’ve gone back and spoken to their classes over the past 20 years. It’s neat to develop those great relationships.

How did SDSU prepare you to chair a PGA Tour event?

When I was at San Diego State, I could have never imagined something like this. When I was a student, it was a dream to come up here and play Torrey Pines. What prepared me most, as a journalism major, was learning to write and that has propelled me through my career in many different ways. I own a marketing agency, but I write every day. I worked in Athletics in the media relations department, but I also helped with the entertainment that took place at some of the events. That’s where my career moved.

What is one interesting fact about this tournament that an attendee may not know?

We work with 10 charitable organizations to help raise funds to support their initiatives. That, at the end of the day, is our goal. It’s about us supporting the youth of San Diego, military and first responders. What people don’t realize is the money they spend on their tickets, on the pro-am or food and beverage, goes back to supporting 10 great organizations in San Diego.