Last week consisted of 7 days’ of down time for team Hatton. The Monday morning after we touched down from Mexico we drove an hour to downtown Orlando on about four hours of sleep (our flight home was delayed and we didn’t get back to the house until gone 4am). Despite the tiredness, we were both excited because this wasn’t your average road trip. We were driving to the Lamborghini Orlando garage to test drive a potential new car for T- A Huracan. It always makes me laugh when we do things like this because in true Tyrrell style he wore a casual t-shirt, shorts and trainers. Upon walking into the shop we definitely got the up and down glance with a side eye of ‘you can’t afford to shop here’ and this is either because of the choice of clothing or because of our age, but it did make me chuckle when the garage manager strides straight past the first man and just hands the keys to T as previously arranged, no questions asked. The first guy had to practically pick his jaw up off the floor! Like everything in life, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and a car salesman of all people should know better. All perceptions aside, we had the car overnight which was enough time to work out if this was the car T wanted to buy and definitely enough time to rip it up on the long journey home. It’s crazy to think about how things have changed for us over the years though… I remember our first date where he picked me up in the first car he ever owned, a Peugeot 106- the green wheelie bin as it was nicknamed! The poor car didn’t even have power steering but it was a beast and he loved it just like anyone does with their first car.
The next day was also quite exciting. Part of Tyrrells job now is to be more than just a professional golfer- it’s to be an all rounded entertainer. Tuesday morning was another early start so that we could visit to the Golf Channel studios where T would be doing lots of filming and a live TV interview with fellow Brit, Cara Robinson. Being out in America is great fun, but to the US audience Tyrrell is a new face that needs an introduction and that media coverage was a great starting point. Millions of Americans tune in daily to watch Morning Drive, so it was really cool to see behind the scenes and how it all works.
In between filming, Hugo (our friend who’s visiting for the week), and I were messing around posing as hosts on the sofas when all of a sudden the studio stage lights come on. I thought for sure we would get into trouble for touching the set but the camera man had seen us having a laugh and wanted to give us the whole TV production experience, so he turns all of the lights on and then offers to take our photos… that was pretty surreal experience!
After we said our goodbyes Tyrrell headed off to drop the car back and I spent a few hours wondering around the closest premium outlet mall. If you have never been to America before and you love to shop then this is the biggest tip I could give you- PLEASE VISIT THE PREMIUM OUTLET MALLS!!! Compared to prices back home, designer goods are ridiculously cheap and you’re guaranteed to bag a bargain at these places. More often than not if you find an information desk when you arrive, sign up and you can get a voucher booklet which gives you even more money off the original discounted prices. As shameful as it is, for almost every PGA tournament we have been to, we have gone to one of these malls that same week. I can already tell we are going to have to buy more suitcases just to bring all of the new goodies home with us when these three months are up!
Hugo used to live in Orlando so we spent the rest of the week being shown the best things to do locally, which is really great for us as it makes our stay that much more like being at home. Of course, we couldn’t escape golf and ended up visiting one of Orlando’s best mini golf courses, Pirates Cove Adventure Golf. One of the things I love about Florida is how everything is geared to be a spectacle, even the mini golf here is bounds better than the UK because the props take it that the extra mile. Obviously, I let Tyrrell win… I couldn’t let an amateur like myself show him up ;). 18 holes ended up costing just over $40 for the three of us but we had a great time and I would definitely recommend the place for a visit.
All in all, it was lovely to have some time off and get to explore our surroundings a bit more than we had been able to in Mexico. Before we knew it the week had flown by and the Arnold Palmer Invitational is already underway. We got up to some fun things in the run up to this tournament so keep an eye out for the next post, don’t forget to subscribe in the right hand column. As always, happy reading!