Report from volunteer Jim Wren

Report from the 2019 EuroPro Event at the Championship
Further to Mr President’s piece on Oliver Claireaux, I thought it would be a good idea to give you some thoughts on the event, as a volunteer.
On Wednesday, Mr President at Roper emulated the recently retired long – serving Open starter, Ivor Robson, both in dress and demeanour!
Pat Roper commented that it was a great experience starting the pros and he enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere of mixing with professional golfers.
The Championship was in great shape and the second round leader was 15 UNDER par – no mean achievement round the Championship as we can all vouch for! Interesting to note that the 2nd and 8th holes were ‘call down’ holes so the pros were obviously able to drive them with ease!
On Friday, I spent the morning collecting scores at the 9th hole. I chose this hole as there was plenty of shelter in case it was inclement and the necessary facilities for a man of my age were close by!
I arrived in good time, found out where I was supposed to report and Heather the Scorer gave me a briefing and issued me with the Start List and a radio. She also gave me some ‘goodies’ – a EuroPro cap with ‘Tour Official’ on the back (delusions of grandeur quickly crept in!), a water bottle, a trolley coin and a ball ‘circle’ marker – all very useful! Also got a packed lunch which was went down very well!
Walked across to the back of the 9th green and my duties started as the first players walked off having finished their first nine holes. Politely asked for their scores for the last three holes and then relayed them via the radio to Heather – quite easy really but a little nerve racking when you knew the player had just missed a putt for par!!! All the lads were very polite and most thanked me for my help to the tournament.
Interestingly, as a strong wind was blowing down the 9th (although the flag appeared quite still), the pitch shots into the green to a forward flag were predominantly short and span back down the hill as also did some of those that hit the green! One player overhit it to the back of the green and then proceeded to putt it off the front of the green! Turning round, I could watch them driving off the 10th into the teeth of the wind! One player complained that his drive had only just cleared the bunkers on the right (yes, those ones most of us can just clear from the Yellows!)
I also met Ollie (who unfortunately didn’t make the ‘cut’) and Peter Hopkins following one of the games. Peter informed me I’d been standing chatting to Richard Finch, a European Tour Golfer with two wins to his credit, so you never know who’s around on the Portal golf courses!
It was a very interesting day and gave me an insight into the large amount of work and planning, both for the EuroPro tour officials and the hosting course greenkeepers and staff.
Jim Wren

Mr President starting proceedings.
...and a couple of other volunteers
.and another two
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