What can I say? I have loved everything about my week of golf.
I have had terrible golf withdrawals after working on a film the past seven weeks. I had only been able to get three half rounds in and I was getting twitchy. It is the first time since I started playing in July 2014 that I wasn’t playing two to three rounds a week.
Last year I went to the Sunday of the Australian Open on my own. The golfers I did know had either already been, or would rather be on the other side of the ropes.
So I tuned up at 6.30am when the gates opened, went directly to the practice nets and watched the warm up and drills of the experts.
I got chatting to the gentleman beside me when he asked who I was following, I admitted I didn’t know who any of them were. I kind of regonised Craig Parry’s outline but couldn’t put a name to the face.
He asked me what I was doing at 6.30am at the golf on my own. I told him I was there to watch and learn and that I had been playing golf for three months, brought clubs back from Canada and had joined Mt Broughton Golf and Country Club because they had the best practice facilities in the area.
I admitted my addiction.
I then spent ten hours watching amazing golf, staying until the final putt was holed, sitting on the hill watching Spieth on the 18th.
I made lots of friends. During the year I golfed with a couple and and made more golfing friends.
Fast forward a year and I am back again watching wonderful golf.
This experience has been a little different than last year.
This year I had media accreditation and instead of only having one day of golf, I have had seven.
On Monday, I caddied for my club pro, Davyd Reeves in an Australian Open pre qualifier and loved it. I would have preferred to be playing, which is exactly what I would have been doing if I wasn’t caddying. Caddying was another way I could enjoy awesome golf. While Dave shot 1 under it wasn’t quite good enough to qualify.
The last six days I have spent at The Australian Open. I have witnessed amazing golf, made new friends and have organized a few rounds before I leave the country.
On arrival today, I saw Jake Stirling on the second and stopped to watch he and Blyth. I then followed them to the 3rd tee. I flitted between the green and the tee as three groups came through then wandered to the 4th green and sat for a while watching lots of bunker action.
Darren Clarke on the 4th
I also witnessed my second worse moment of the tournament.
A father sits a few metres away from me with two young children. The girl may be six and the boy is younger. The boy is clearly bored and it is only 10.30am.
I do believe dad is in for a long day.
The boy sits in his dad’s lap and starts crying and says he wants to go to bed. The father tries to perk him up and points to Klein and CT Pan about to tee off. The boy projectile vomits all over the dad and continues to heave again and again all over his dad’s leg. I cover my nose and try not to heave. The little girls states it smells like carrots. I did through my bag looking for napkins but finding none. As guy behind me gives him some tissues I look over my shoulder and try not to heave. Dad is coated in a think layer, as is the grass beside him.
I look away and get up as soon as the putts are sank.
I think dad’s day just got a wee bit longer.
The thing I found worse than this was on Wednesday, while I was chatting to Norrey and Rod on the putting green, one of the pros (while I have video footage he will remain nameless) sat beside the green ripped off his shoes and cut his toenails.
Now I understand the need to do that so your golf shoes are more comfortable but please – time and place.
I then swung by the media centre charging my phone for a short while before heading out to watch Blizard and Nitties come down the first.
I stayed on the first until Cullen and Drakeford came through and then followed them to the 4th (steering well clear of the vomit puddle) willing Cullen throw a dart like he did with his birdie on Thursday. He too hit the bunker.
As did quite a few others – there seemed to be a magnet in the sand.
I watched the last five groups come through while I watched my phone battery die. I should have charged it longer. I was sitting quite close and wanted to get some photos of Matt Jones. My phone died as Spieth and Jones teed off.
I borrowed the phone of the guy beside me and snapped a few photos of Jones’ birdie and Spieth putting. The crowds were getting thicker.
Minutes after Spieth’s putt there was a mass exodus and as I was leaving one of the volunteers asked if I’d like to get on the leaderboard.
Why not – he snapped a pic on his phone and sent it to me.
I had been listening to the AO Radio which I must has been fantastic for the whole event. When you are out on the course you can check in with scores and listen to interviews with players who have already finished.
That is how I found out about Pampling – he had shot ten under. Crazy golf. Amazing golf.
I headed back to the media centre to charge my phone and send some more tweets of my golfing morning. I chatted to Audrey, Lisa and Rhys about Pampling while we watched replays of his amazing round on television.
Gary Edwin (Pampling’s coach) came in as Pampling’s putt on the 18th was replayed and we chatted with him about the ten under round and the amazement of being fourteen strokes off the lead and coming back into contention.
It was crazy. After a round like that I was rooting for Pampling. It would have been a great celebration of golf.
Once my phone was charged I headed to the 18th and stayed there watching the last eight groups come through and Matt Jones putt out winning the cup.
I didn’t watch the presentation but headed back to the media centre noting on the way that Cullen had qualified for The Open.
I took a seat in the same place I have sat in press conferences all week, next to the wall in the back right so I don’t disturb anyone when I stand filming on my little hand held camera.
I chatted with a group of guys also waiting for the press conference.
The room quickly filled and Matt Jones walked in holding the cup to a standing ovation.
What a week of golf!!!!
I do believe I may be obsessed.