I decided I wanted to go to the Open back in May. Annika Sorenstam had just announced her retirement and I thought that this would be a fun thing to do. I started looking at how much tickets would be and when I wanted to go. I called my golf nut friend to see what she suggested. About a week later, I hadn’t actually bought my tickets and I got a call from the golf nut. She said that someone from her office had a connection to get us tickets for a practice round day. Last week the tickets arrived on my doorstep. These weren’t just any tickets, they were special tickets.
We arrived around 8am and got acquainted with the course. We found the practice round tee times and figured out that Annika was playing in the morning. We walked to the clubhouse area.
There’s lots of activity in this area. There’s the putting practice green, several tee boxes and a few greens. We wandered around and watched players practice. We decided to find out what was special about these little purple wristbands we were wearing. What was the “Fairway Room” and how do we get there? Well… the Fairway room was on the second floor all the way on the right when you look at the above photo. You could see the 10th tee box, the 18th green, the 16th tee box, the practice putting green, and much more! We got there, signed in and got a buffet breakfast. As we sat and looked out the windows we came up with our plan.
We were very close to the 9th green, so we headed there and waited for the first group to come through. During the practice rounds they hit several balls. When they get to the green, they putt all over the place. They practice for various pin placements. After watching Michelle Wie get a 9 on hole #9 today (on ESPN), I can see why they get to know the green.
Christina Kim was fun to watch. She has a fun flair for fashion. She also spent time with her group and with the next to try to master the green at #9. Julieta Granada, from Paraguay was also fun to watch. She chipped it in from off the green to get an applause.
We made another trip to the Fairway room and had a buffet lunch and cooled off in the air conditioning. Every time we went to the clubhouse we had to chuckle to ourselves. Us? VIPs? We started contemplating how we could get treated like this all the time. So far we haven’t figured it out. Just to give you an idea of how special we were feeling, here’s the view.
After lunch we planned out our afternoon and exit strategy. We wandered around the 18th green area and saw that Annika was on 16 and was on her way. You don’t want to know how many photos I have of Annika… Before we left we were able to catch Lorena Ochoa. We hadn’t seen her name on the board earlier, so we didn’t know when to look for her.
Anyway… it was fun to watch all of the players. Today when I watched it on TV I figured out exactly who I was watching…
It was fun to watch these women that are phenomenal golfers. It’s fun to see how powerful they are. The amount of practice and how they do it is fascinating. Speaking of which, I really need to practice. I should see if I can go hit like a girl.