First of all, it is quite something to see live golf. We’re grateful and also grateful to our 4 professionals who are raising millions for nurses, doctors and patients in the United States, both through the sponsors and the generosity of the public pledging support.
We’re seeing the exclusive Seminole for the first time on TV. I have dressed for the occasion in my Seminole cap
This compact, perfect Donald Ross course was reclaimed from just 140 acres of swampland and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw have done some remodelling building in sandy scrubland which seemed to confuse Matthew Wolff when one of his tee shots, which were tending to the right, landed in there. “This isn’t a waste bunker is it?” he asked the nearby official, to see if he could get relief. No, it was tricky rough, the like of which we’re not used to seeing. The greens are a little soft so the ball is stopping quickly. Some remarkable features like the 2nd green tucked into the side of a hill, a very tricky approach shot with a long drive competition for money on this hole making the players bomb their drives into a less strategic position and a tricky pin placement on the back of the green. It looks a fabulous layout which will test every shot. Although the temperature is hot, 87 degrees, the wind is blowing off the ocean, making club selection especially testing as – they have no caddie to help! We’re seeing the course with only six cameras, a drone and a helicopter giving aerial shots.
And this is another thing. No caddies means theyre all carrying their own bags. Rory has his in a double harness like a female caddie does. Rickie was using a range finder to judge distance. They’re miked up, because, although this is a big deal to raise money, it’s also entertainment. We’re hearing what they would normally tell their caddies. McIlroy, who has just turned 31, complained of his aches and pains “I’m getting old”. He also needled the opponents. We’re seeing them in shorts. Actor Bill Murray was brought in via skype to do some colour commentary. “They look almost human. Normally, even if it’s 102 degrees the PGA Tour makes them play in long trousers”.
We’re seeing this amazing swing of Matthew Woolff which the club reaches vertical instead of horizontal at the top. He does things differently.
And so I was enjoying this enormously, watching heartwarming new sponsors double the prize donation on the 17th hole.
Then the President of the United States joined in on the telephone.
And at that point I switched off. I’ll finish tomorrow when I can finish watching the recording and fast forward through that bit…