Cambo’s no fan of our weather
Michael Campbell didn’t have a round of golf last week because of that freezing cold Wellington wind.
The 47-year-old was back in his hometown of Porirua for a flying visit and found time for a quick chat and coaching session with Eisenhower Trophy players Ryan Chisnall and Luke Toomey in Upper Hutt, and with Daniel Hillier at Titahi Golf Club.
‘‘Jack Nicklaus told me after I won the US Open [in 2005] that you have a responsibility to give back, teach others some of what you’ve learnt,’’ Campbell said. ’’I’ve never forgotten that and although I was back here for another reason, talking to those young guys was important.’’
Based in Marabella, Spain, these days, the main reason he was back was to celebrate his father Tom’s 69th birthday.
A friend’s father recently died, so Campbell decided flying home was worth every penny.
‘‘He didn’t know I was coming. I was in another room and my sister said, ‘I’ve brought you a present’, and out I came. I think I nearly gave him a heart attack.’’
Campbell hasn’t been back to New Zealand for 18 months. He said it was always fantastic to come home - but he did not miss the cold.
In southern Spain the temperature never drops below 20 degrees Celsius.
‘‘I was thinking about a round [of golf] this week, but I can’t face it, mate, it’s just too cold. I’m older and spoilt now.
‘‘But the memories of growing up here in the Bay flood back, like playing this [Titahi] course. It was a special place for a kid.’’
In three years time Campbell is eligible for the United States Seniors Tour.
Good friends Retief Goosen and Mike Weir will be also taking up the opportunity and Campbell said the camaraderie and competitive nature of tournament golf held some appeal.
The attraction of three rounds per tournament - not four - and using golf carts was a bonus, he said.
‘‘After I quit three years ago, I didn’t play for 18 months and I didn’t miss it.
‘‘I’ve worked hard at my [golf] academies and I do television work for Sky and Fox, so I’m busy. But it won’t be hard to get going again.
‘‘I’m competitive by nature, even chess with my son or cards with the family gets heated.’’
Campbell is looking forward to watching the Ryder Cup from September 27, pitting the best European golfers against the top United States players.