The R and A invited a representative from ClubGolf to carry board at The Open Championship, and we nominated Kayleigh Singer, a young licensed coach from Dundas Parks Golf Club. This is her story behind the ropes.
It was an amazing experience! I was lucky enough to be selected as a Development Centre player to carry boards at The Ryder Cup and the atmosphere was quite different probably just because of the nature of the tournament.
I was out late on Thursday, with Brett Rumford, Tom Gillis and Ben Taylor not getting in until 9.15pm so by the time we got in there was hardly anyone there watching. On Friday, my noon start was delayed from noon until after three o’clock because of the weather so on both days the crowds were a bit quieter than they were earlier in the day.
What made my day on Friday though was when I was standing right at the path while Matt Every, Alexander Levy and David Lingmerth were taking their shots, Martin Kaymer came out of the Old Course Hotel. I did a double take and then asked to get a photo with him. It was amazing as I’d also had my picture taken with him at The Ryder Cup.
It was unreal on Sunday as I got to go out with Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia. When I went to get my board from the cabin on, the others were said they were so jealous and the girl going out in the group behind me with Justin Rose tried to get me to swap!
The atmosphere was so different from the previous days. It was louder but there was so much press following the group on Sunday, I don’t know how it doesn’t put them off. If it was me, I’d be fluffing my shots.
At the first par five, the press told me to stand with my board off the green, then asked me to smile as the players went by. I was so busy concentrating on that that I forgot to change my board!
Near the end, when Spieth was playing really well, as was Garcia, the photographers just came out of nowhere and all you could see was the clicking of the cameras. That was something else, really different from The Ryder Cup.
Walking around was fantastic though. The board was a lot lighter than The Ryder Cup boards, but when the wind came on the back nine, it made it hard work. I was quite grateful to the bunker rakers who helped me as it was quite cumbersome to change the numbers. On the last day, he didn’t have a single bunker to rake!
Talent and toilets
Words can’t describe how amazing it was to see Spieth and Garcia playing. It was the way they hit the ball - they just do it every time and I really want to play like them. The other players were still good to watch although on Thursday, I felt for the amateur Taylor as he played really steady on the first nine, then disaster struck on back nine.
One thing I couldn’t believe how many times they went to the loo! I can’t say who, but one player went seven times! I am not sure whether it was nerves or whether he’d drunk too much.
The icing on the cake was going behind the scenes and getting a little chat, signed hat and a photo.
It was such good fun, getting to meet them, and if you’re really into golf, it’s a dream come true. Once they got their score cards in, I got them to sign my hat, and I also got Justin Rose as he was in the group behind. The scorer and I were chatting to Spieth’s caddy and he signed a ball for me.
I couldn’t stop smiling on Sunday! I couldn’t get to sleep on Saturday night before the round, nor on Sunday because of the adrenaline. It was such a great experience and I will be able to pass on what I’ve seen and tell the ClubGolf kids at Dundas Parks all about it, and they’ll love it, especially hearing about the popular players they know.