January 2018 – I have spent the past couple of days doing what I love – playing golf, talking golf and watching golf.
Not a bad start to the year.
As usual at most tournaments I attend, I chat with a lot of the volunteers and spent time with Arlyce and her husband Bill on the 10th hole. This is their 6th trip to Maui to volunteer for the tournament and others I have met have been coming for more than 10 years.
My legs are certainly getting a workout as climb the hills at Kapalua. I watched in amusement yesterday as two caddies ran down the hill on the 9th in order to get enough speed to run up the other side loaded with the tour bag.
Pre dawn yesterday morning, I was at Ka’anapali Golf to play the Royal Course with Head Professional Sutee Nitakorn and Susanne Kemper (who happens to be sitting beside me in the media centre at Kapalua).
It was a gorgeous morning and by midday when I arrived at the ToC, I had lunch then headed off to find David Havens from Spare for Change.
David and I met at The Sony Open last year and have stayed in touch since. Spare for Change provide free used golf clubs to anyone who wants them. Last year at the Sony Open he cut down hundreds for children that he fitted to get them out golfing.
We caught up on our past year and chatted all things junior golf. I was pleased to hear Spare for Change are heading to Toronto and look forward to meeting the manager next week in Oahu. We spoke of golf professional, Sachin Bhattarai, from Nepal who was delighted that I put him in touch with David again after David went to Nepal years ago to help with golf and donated items for junior golfers.
David asked me how Fairways was going and if I was still running the nonprofit on my credit cards.
I watched David do his thing and fit a couple of clubs for some young girls who were delighted to leave with another tool for their kit.
Over hill and dale and I was back in the media centre in time for Pat Perez’s press conference. Laid back and relaxed he spoke of his upcoming trip with Sergio and how taking the pressure off himself led to better results.
I left the golf early as I had a Sentry Media Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton (note for next year – I am in Hawaii thongs ((flip flops for the North Americans)) are appropriate footwear everywhere).
Dinner was amazing and I made some new golf friends – who doesn’t like making new golf friends?
It is now time to head out on the course and watch the champions battle it out.