It’s Not All About Win­ning

The Kilted Cad­die re­calls his time with Chubby Chan­dler, Dar­ren Clarke and Jor­dan Smith on the Tues­day prac­tice day of The Open Cham­pi­onship at Carnoustie.

HK Golfer - - CONTENTS - By The Kilted Cad­die

The Kilted Cad­die re­calls his time with Chubby Chan­dler and Dar­ren Clarke on the Tues­day prac­tice day of The Open Cham­pi­onship.

Ihave to ad­mit to be­ing a big fan of at­tend­ing The Open on the prac­tice days. Not only is it sig­nif­i­cantly cheaper, £25 as op­posed to £80, but it’s ob­vi­ously a lot qui­eter, and there is a chance to mingle with the play­ers and other per­sons of note. Well, mostly that is. Carnoustie is very much on the golf­ing map. How­ever, you only re­ally go there for the golf, if you get my drift. It has noth­ing of the beauty, his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance or stun­ning ar­chi­tec­ture of St An­drews which sits across the wa­ter. In short, the town of Carnoustie is not glam and in­deed not pretty. You cer­tainly don’t go there for high-end shop­ping, high end ho­tels, high- end restau­rants or high-end any­thing. I sus­pect if you de­canted a bot­tle of wine in a Carnoustie hostelry they would prob­a­bly ask you if there is any­thing wrang with it? No. It’s not a winede­cant­ing town.

How­ever, Carnoustie is blessed with one of the most stun­ning and chal­leng­ing golf cour­ses in the world, and I’ll drink, un­de­canted, to that.

I went to the Tues­day prac­tice day, and there was al­ready a great buzz and bright, ex­pec­tant at­mos­phere. I headed for the prac­tice area which was against the grain for me, but they seem to have dis­pensed with the Bollinger Tent for some in­sane rea­son. Still, I sup­pose at 10am it was a tad early for that sort of thing. Hmm?

The prac­tice area was mobbed, and full of recog­nis­able and not so recog­nis­able faces. On a small stage at one end the af­fa­ble and ready smil­ing Danny Wil­let was be­ing in­ter­viewed and talk­ing through his swing changes. Right next, across a small fence was Dar­ren Clarke with the fa­mous sports pro­moter Chubby Chan­dler.

I had a fancy to get a selfie with Mr Chan­dler and was think­ing about shout­ing across ‘Chubby’. How­ever, on not­ing that Dar­ren had put on a good bit of beef, I thought this in­ad­vis­able and had the ob­vi­ous po­ten­tial for be­ing taken the wrong way. I don’t think you want to be seen to wind up Mr Clarke, even though my mo­tive was os­ten­si­bly pure and in­no­cent.

Still, I did man­age to catch up with Mr Chan­dler as he ex­ited the prac­tice area, asked for a selfie to which he ini­tially seemed ok about. How­ever, he then ob­vi­ously had sec­ond thoughts and quickly marched off, say­ing ‘he was be­hind time’. I thought that was quite an in­ter­est­ing com­ment, re­flected quickly on its pos­si­ble (but un­likely) philo­soph­i­cal di­men­sion and then fig­ured I’d just been snubbed. You can’t win them all.

I did, how­ever, get an Open selfie with the most lovely and gen­uine English player, Jor­dan Smith who’d done so well in the U.S. Open a cou­ple of years back. I shouted across to him as he was walk­ing up Ho­gan’s Al­ley and he im­me­di­ately, and most oblig­ingly, came across. I had cad­died in the same group with him at the Dun­hill last year, and he ac­tu­ally re­mem­bered me. Or shall I say he re­mem­bered my some­what mem­o­rable Royal and Awe­some shorts? Any­way, what a very de­cent and oblig­ing bloke.

I wish I could say that for an­other bloke out there on the course. I saw Tiger on the first tee and thought I’d am­ble up to the ad­ja­cent stand which was packed. I shouted down ‘what are your chances, Tiger?’ How­ever, I met an un­flinch­ing Tiger who was ob­vi­ously ‘in the zone’ or had sud­denly lost all means of sen­sory com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Nev­er­the­less, I thought he would at least ac­knowl­edge the four young boys who were col­lect­ing au­to­graphs just at the end of the first tee. How­ever, I’m afraid a very def­i­nite no. He cer­e­mo­ni­ously marched past this wee group of ea­ger young fans with his co­hort of syco­phan­tic play­ing part­ners who thought it right to ig­nore the young au­to­graph hunters too. Maybe Tiger will grow up one day and set a fine ex­am­ple. Life is not all about be­ing a great golfer, my man.

In much more friendly and buoy­ant mood was the com­men­ta­tor Ken Brown whom

I caught in a buggy com­ing out of the TV com­pound. He was more than will­ing to have a wee chat and his photo taken as was the NBC pre­sen­ter Roger Malt­bie, who gave me a lift back to the course af­ter my slight de­tour to catch up with my old pal Pete who works with the Beeb.

Yes, it’s re­ally all very con­vivial and fes­tive like at The Open. Peo­ple tuck­ing into burg­ers and fish and chips (of course). Many stout and cheery bods swig­ging cold Stella Ar­tois un­der the warm An­gus sun. Even the lo­cal con­stab­u­lary was in high spir­its and ev­ery game. I man­aged to get my arm around one which makes a de­light­ful and novel change. Just a wee joke of course! I’ve never to my knowl­edge been on the wrong side of the An­gus con­stab­u­lary.

I did no­tice that the Ja­panese con­tin­gent had fe­male cad­dies and the most at­trac­tive ones at that. They were re­ally jovial and smil­ing lot, and I was com­pelled to fol­low their group for a few holes and even got chat­ting to the Asahi TV crew. I said I wrote for HK Golfer which got a slightly un­easy and quizzi­cal look from the group at first. Their im­me­di­ate con­ver­sa­tion went some­thing like this, said with ex­treme and the most in­ter­est­ing and var­ied de­grees of in­to­na­tion. ‘Hong Kong Goff?’ ‘Aah Hong Kong Goff!’ ‘Aaah, ohhh, Hong Kong Goff, Honk Kong Goff’ (a brief respite for a few gig­gles and that open-mouthed Ja­panese in­credulity look thing) ‘Ohhh Hong Kong Goff!’

Yes, I guess they would have been ex­pect­ing some­one with a more ori­en­tal dis­po­si­tion. Not the six foot two, broad and bald Ed­in­burgher that was in their midst. Any­way, they were most friendly and cour­te­ous as the Ja­panese race al­ways seem to be. We did ex­change a few pleas­antries and as they headed away in their buggy. I shouted a part­ing ‘I’ll see you in Tokyo’ which did cause a bit of amuse­ment.

The mar­shals finely fit­ted out in their very smart red, Boss spon­sored out­fits were a de­light and most help­ful. They es­corted me across the course when I sud­denly re­alised I had lost sight of the Stella tent and ed­u­cated me of the lo­cal word for light rain ‘smurr’, which sounds like my chat af­ter a few hours in the Stella tent!

So, largely a happy, amus­ing and event­ful day. Even the lo­cal con­stab­u­lary was in high spir­its and very game. As ever I’m afraid that there are the few that are tak­ing them­selves a bit too se­ri­ously. How­ever, come on Chubby and Tiger, if the lo­cal bob­bies can let their hair down then so can you guys. It’s not all about win­ning.

Even though Francesco Moli­nari man­i­festly showed us all about that.

Ken Brown and friend come face to face with the Kilted Cad­die

The Kilted Cad­die and the Asian friends

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