Bill’s Blog Day three. Getting ready for a ‘Kitey Day’ at Sandwich

We parked on the sea front last night and due to the very strong winds last night found that North Sea had ‘washed’ our car overnight. As it was 5.15 a.m. we just laughed and went off to Sandwich.

Margaret’s shift stared at 6 a.m. and mine at 4 p.m. so I was able to spend the final day of cameras being allowed on the course  walking the whole course taking pictures of players , holes, 4th hole bunker, and a series of  chief referee John Paramor. The girl friend of a golfing mate reckons she is related to John hence the photos – he spotted me doing it and I told him why. He did know Diane she is his brother’s cousin in law – yes I thought that was very tenuous too. By the way, for you older readers did you know that John’s Dad was the famous band leader Norrie Paramor?

The shift started and there is a very noticeable change in the mood of many of the players – best described as nervous anticipation coupled with a desire to get on with it.

We had a  very quiet shift ending at 7 pm instead of 8 due to players  wandering off early due to the cold or as one caddy said ’if we ain’t fixed it now it ‘s gonna stay bust’.

Ian Poulter was sitting in the buggy when a police officer approached him – this should make the blog interesting I thought. But he only wanted to compliment Ian on his working of the crowd over autographs. ebayers ask for loads of items to be autographed and the police are aware of this and the ill feeling it can cause when players spot this and refuse to join in. Ian said he was aware of many of the ‘professional ebayers’ and dealt with them firmly.

GoKart electric golf trolley

We ran him and his caddy back to his car in the players’ car park near to the buggy track.’ That Jag parked over there ‘he said pointing to a car parked at a jaunty angle. ‘That’s not parked’ I said ‘it’s abandoned’. Ian responded with ‘You’re not going to believe this but it was straight this morning’ to which his caddy responded ‘Been some major subsidence then.’

I couldn’t help but think as I drove away that his ‘driving’ is going to have to be a lot better over the next 4 days.

A guy was walking towards the range carrying a large leather looking object. Suddenly, Jeff Overton appeared and went over to the guy who promptly opened the object which turned out to be a mobile massage table. Jeff lies down and the guy works his magic and Jeff gets up and walks away and the guy continues on his way to the range.

GoKart electric golf trolley

As Sergio Garcia signed autographs his caddy climbed into my buggy and commented on the cold and my short sleeved top. He reckoned it was Baltic cold – I told him that compared to the North of England it was sub tropical and that I didn’t feel the cold. I also told him that he was a fit young lad and shouldn’t notice the cold. By this time, Sergio had joined us and we set off. The caddy then said that as he was so fit he wasn’t carrying any fat and so felt the cold – so I said are you saying I’m fat then?  At which point Sergio chipped in and said he’s right – what that I’m fat, I said. No,no he said quickly that his caddy is very fit. We laughed together all the way back – I’m no gambler but that’s the most relaxed I’ve ever seen Sergio pre tournament.

GoKart electric golf trolley

Two little stories nothing to do with the players but all part of the atmosphere of the event. A Scottish security lady told me on Monday that she ken ( knew) Scott Jamieson’s granny and could I point him out to her so she could say hello. They are all from East Kilbride apparently. This has run over 3 days. I saw her late today to give her his tee time – she burst out laughing and could barely speak as she explained ‘I’ve realised that it’s no Scott Jamieson it’s Mark Warren’s granny, I ken’.

An elderly French guy has been wandering around today carrying a suitcase and looking for Tom Lehman who he had arranged to meet. As we weren’t too busy we ran him up and down to the range a couple of times – he was in and out of the club house, without passes, in his quest. Finally, he came over and said that Bernhard Langer had told him that Tom WAS on the range – so off we went, Tom wasn’t there – German humour eh? Gets me every time. He was last seen talking his way into one of the players’ Mercedes.

GoKart electric golf trolley

I saw a guy I first met in 2005 at St Andrews and he came over for a chat. Willie Dunbar and his team are responsible for the infrastructure of many of the tour events both European Tour organised events and The Open which is organised by the R and A. He is an older quietly spoken Scot who is absolutely charming and always has time for people. I saw him hold the massed crowd on the 18th green stand at St Andrews in the palm of his hand as he explained how the pass out system was going to work. He was firm and fair and no queries followed.
Anyway, he is slowly handing over his role to his younger colleagues Stephen and Peter. They said to him that they would front The Open this year and he should have a quite week the week before in INVERNESS.

Willie told me slowly and a calmly how it had been, from his point of view, and how they had resolved the many issues that had arisen. He is held in high regard by all involved in the tournaments and, when in Scotland, his buggy carries the moniker ‘Oor Wullie’ on the windscreen after the cartoon character in The Sunday Post.
It’s worth saying at this point that the more I see the organisation of golf tournaments from the inside the more impressed I am. If things go wrong or are different to what was anticipated then decisions are quickly made and actioned.

Looking at the weather forecast it looks, in the words of my 3 year old grandson Ben as if it is going to be a ‘kitey’ day tomorrow.

Bring it on……

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