Sunday was spent at the annual Joburg Open Golf Tournament. There I spent some time with cameraman and editor, Graeme, who is busy putting together a little piece on what went on at the tournament. It was a great experience to be back in the saddle, supplying online content to anyone who wanted it. I put up some commentary on SoundCloud and you can take a listen to the winner’s press conference on my channel there. Subscribe to channel while you are there please….
My only other golf event before this weekend was the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City. I had been there many times as SAfm sports presenter. It was the highlight of my sporting year as my producer and I would check-in on the Tuesday and only leave on the Monday morning. To be honest, most of the time there was spent in an alcoholic haze, but it was all safe and fun. The NGC gets busy, and I mean really busy. What seems like thousands of people make their way to Sun City to be spoiled by sponsors and to watch some great golf. It’s a great advert for golf in South Africa on one of the best courses in the world and one of the best hotel locations on the planet.
This weekend was a little different. There was only one VIP tent and it wasn’t really full, which was sad. I would have thought that all the people that needed to be seen would be there. The galleries were good and the last pairing to tee off had a sizable crowd following them around the golf course. But it was nowhere near the size of the NGC and, as someone who has to fight his way to get to the players, it was a pleasure. I had full access to all the players and their caddies, also to the backroom staff who were more than happy to tell me what they were doing and how it was all being put together.
Towards the end of the final day a big highveld storm was approaching the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington golf course and I was allowed into the weather station office to watch how the decisions were being made as to whether play should continue. It was an eye opening experience to see just how difficult some tournament decisions are. Look for that in the final edit that we put together and post on the YouTubes,
At the NGC, the players are put into little bubbles and aren’t as accessible as they were this weekend. I am not sure who to blame for that. Maybe it’s SuperSport who broadcast the event and claim them for themselves, maybe it’s the organisers or even the players themselves. But from what I saw this weekend, the players are more than happy to talk to the media even after a bad day on the course.
Have you been to a golf tournament lately? Why not?