Friday 31st August saw the start of the Senior Masters held at Woburn, Bedfordshire. The event was to be my first outing representing Golfbreaks and with the field consisting of a number of high profile players including Mark James and Sam Torrance, I was more than happy to volunteer to represent the company and hopefully see some quality golf!
Preparation for the event started early in the week with a trip to Woburn to set up our tent in the exhibition village. A quick forage through Homebase to find some DIY materials to help construct our stand and we were on our way. Only an hour later we were in Woburn and were met by the picturesque entrance to Woburn Golf Club, with grand pine trees welcoming you into the estate. Our base for the weekend was in a great position, just off the putting green where you could watch the Pros warm up, and just as importantly, close to the food outlets too. The tent was transformed with some trusty cable ties and rather a lot of double sided sticky tape helping to support the promotional banner advertising the competition we were running. Happy with our efforts, work was complete for the day, leaving enough time to have a nosey around the course before we left. The course itself was already in immaculate condition with preparations in full flow, you could tell we were in for 3 days of top-class golf.
Saturday morning arrived and the meeting time of 7.30 am at the office wasn’t particularly welcomed, however, by half 8 we were at the venue which had a real excitement about the place. The Golf Club was now a frenzy of activity. The rest of the Golfbreaks team who worked the previous day were just about up and raring to go after an interesting nights stay at the Hungry Horse Hotel down the road. After hearing the stories of what the local night scene had to offer it was time to chat to some visitors about what Golfbreaks had to offer. The other exhibition tents, particularly the one serving free tea and coffee kept morale high, as did a number of the visitors who it seemed had come to discuss their latest golf break with us instead of watching any of the golf. The end of a long but enjoyable day out on the course meant it was back to the town of Dunstable to see what the Hungry Horse had entailed for us. With the venue not being half as bad as was described to us, we soon polished off a well-deserved steak and chips. A drink or two later though, not even the hen party could distract us from getting some sleep, so after a few games on the pub quiz machine it was off to bed for another early start.
The 3rd and final day unfortunately didn’t provide the best of weather for us. Despite it slowly improving throughout the day, visitors were more focused on watching the last day’s play, which gave us an opportunity to join them on the course and see some of the Pros at work. The standard of golf, as expected was very high, with murmurs from the crowd commenting how the seniors have ‘still got it’ or ‘not lost their touch’. The Leaderboard was becoming increasingly competitive making for great viewing, however, with promises of gaining some social media and the day closing in, it was time to try and find some potential interviewees for the Golfbreaks YouTube channel. Doubtful of finding anyone that would be willing to talk us, we tried our luck with the biggest name in the field and 4 time Ryder Cup winner, Sam Torrance. We seized our chance after seeing him emerge from the scorer's hut and to our surprise he seemed in jovial enough spirits to ‘walk and talk’ with us. Asking him how he found the 3 days at Woburn, he replied very eloquently in a deep Scottish accent “Well if I hadn’t played so crap on the first round I could have been in contention!” To the delight of the spectators walking past that had stopped to listen he also stated that he thought Europe were now favourites to win the Ryder Cup with Mcllory finding some form of late… Let’s hope you’re right Sam!
All in a day’s work we joked to ourselves as we thanked him for his time, and commented about how easy presenting on TV must be. Our thoughts soon changed, however, when attempting to view our handy work on the video camera, where we discovered the ‘record’ button hadn’t been pressed… Maybe a few more lessons were needed before we graduated from the interviewing class after all.
Despite this hiccup, we were still able to get to the grandstand in time to witness Des Smyth win the Senior Masters for the second time in 3 years and take home the £45,000 prize fund, not bad for 3 days work…
Our work hadn’t stopped there though. Loading up the company car we were greeted by some damsels in distress, with a drained car battery having left their car lights on… Needless to say, we were only too happy to help attempt to jump start their car. Unsuccessfully, we failed to re-start the car, and impress the damsels… the only slight downer on what was an eventful and thoroughly enjoyable 3 days at Woburn.