By Aman Misra
As the Hero Women’s Indian Open reached its business end, the juniors were shown around the tournament village early on Sunday morning before heading off to the course to watch the proceedings of the final round.
David Clutterbuck from the Ladies European Tour (LET), who worked on live scoring this week, explained to the aspiring golfers how the entire system of documenting goes on during a tournament. Each individual hole is assigned a volunteer who in turn keys in shot-by-shot proceedings of the field digitally as they pass by.
According to Clutterbuck, “Last year at the Indian Open, we had a digital scoreboard. This year it was back to the manual with all the red, blue, white and yellow numbers which adds to the charm and tradition of the game of golf.”
They were then taken to the hospitality tent to show them the operations behind the scenes that keep a professional golf tournament running smoothly without any hindrances, before being ushered into the all-important media tent.
Mike Round, Director of Development of the LET, spoke about the generation of reports and features on websites, magazines and newspapers that make their way around the golf world, and how it all starts from here.
A quick word on the importance of sponsors where the player interviews take place, and the placement of organisations that work together for the tournament’s successful running before they were off to catch the action.
When the rookie Camille Chevalier holed out to win the tournament proper, the juniors were given a front seat to the action including the trophy presentation and a photograph with the winner.
Hours after the end of the event Round reflected on the three-day camp. “This was a great example of what can be achieved if organisations work together, using a professional tournament as a platform. The juniors learned some lessons from a schedule that worked well.”
Chairman of the LET Mark Lichtenhein was pleased with the week’s proceedings and was happy to see the juniors as an important part of the tournament. “It just shows the underlying role our golfers have in bringing on the next generation. This comes more naturally to the women athletes as role models. We’ve made huge strides over eight years since we began co-sanctioning the Indian Open. The next step would be to make this a four-day tournament with live television coverage. India, in my opinion, has huge potential for golf. We could even have a mini pro-am where the juniors can play a hole with the professionals.”
“Also, we are in the process of speaking with UEFA (soccer) and ICC (cricket) to see how our organisations can work together to grow women’s sport.”
So, any famous last words? Mark smiles and says: “Incredible India!”