As per usual we went straight to the golf course to get all of our credentials and start to prep ready for the tournament to start on Thursday as hotel check ins are never usually before 12pm. Tyrrell was signed up for the Monday pro am and had disappeareoff to have a quick warm up and I was left with Danny, his player manager. Our hire car needed to be taken back to the airport so therefore Danny and I were left the task of dropping it off. Convoying behind Danny in the courtesy car (all players get given their own car for every PGA tournament) the experience was far less traumatic than I had expected. I arrived at the airport behind Danny all in one piece and car unscathed! It was actually a big day for me, although the matter may seem minuscule to most people, to me it was a big deal- it was the first time I had ever driven a car abroad, let alone by myself! It’s worth noting that in my family the women tend to be very apprehensive of driving all together. My own mum has never driven on the motorway and so I’ve grown up determined to be independant and not frightened of such things. It was certainly a proud moment.
Speaking of being out of our comfort zones, Tyrrell did a clinic yesterday for Ernie Els’s programme, Els for Autism. The programme encourages children in local schools who have autism to get outside and use golf as a means of therapy. It was brilliant to see all of the kids enjoy themselves and even more meaningful to hear from the parents themselves how much of a difference the resource has made to their lives. In particular a boy who Tyrrell was working with called Joel, who until April this year wasn’t able to even go for a meal out with his parents without having a meltdown due to too much going on in his surroundings. The programme has enabled him to develop skills that means he not only interacts with the other children but also strives to play golf- it was quite moving to hear how incredibly proud his parents were of him. Although Tyrrell and I haven’t got children ourselves it meant a lot to be able to help raise awareness for Els for Autism through their #GameOn Clinic.
All in all this week has been brilliant so far. I must admit, hospitality in the States can’t be faulted. We arrived to the golf course with plenty of friendly greetings followed by a gift bag containing a flask for cocktails around the course (genius idea) and complimentary massage from the PGA National resort spa for the players partners. Happy wife, happy life some may say- I have a sneaky feeling I’m going to like this place!!
The golf course itself is very lush and exactly how I expected a Floridian golf course to be.. complete with a huge alligator living in the water off the 6th hole! With the tee times released and Tyrrell playing with Jim Herman and Scotsman Russel Knox, he’s in for a really great pairing for the first two days. We do however have a really early start tomorrow morning. The alarm is set for 5:30 to be ready for a 7:35 tee off. Back home that’s 10:30 in the morning and about the time I’d usually surface out of bed so looking at the bright side I suppose I can’t really moan.
That being said there has been lots of rain here today so I expect early tomorrow morning there will be plenty of wet feet and soft greens. Perfect conditions for the golf shoes that I left back in England…rookie mistake, Emily. After six years of this you’d think I would know better.
Here’s to hoping the next few days bring better luck for us than my choice of packing has! I’ll certainly be posting more about how the week goes on and what else we may get up to inbetween so keep an eye out for another post soon.