It was great to see all my golfing heroes up at Sunningdale last week for the Seniors British Open. They were all there, Faldo, Norman, Torrance, Langer and Tom Watson. Surrounded by trees Sunningdale is a heathland course west of London and just a few miles away from Wentworth, it has 2 courses the Old and the New. The Old Course was designed by Willie Park Jr in 1901 and the New by Harry Colt in 1923. Recently both courses have undergone renovation work mainly to the bunkers by Artchitect Martin Hawtree. The club emblem is an oak tree after the huge oak tree standing majestically beside the 18th green. Recently the course has hosted the Seve Trophy, Open qualifying and British Ladies Open in 2008 won by 21-year-old Ji-Yai Shin. The Old course is rated by many as one of the best courses in the world.
The Seniors Open had added interest for me, working with the staging team at the European Tour I produced the course graphics for the event. Planning for such an event is huge and began over 12 months ago. Work on site began over a month ago to erect the stands, tented village structures and putting in place the thousands of metres of cables for TV and communications.
The event also brings an added boost to the local shops with a noticable amount of extra business being done by the small shops, pubs and cafes. From our 1st floor office we have the perfect spot for people watching which can be great fun in a town like Sunningdale.
Watching the players of yesterday brings back many great memories, but don’t be fooled these guys can still hit the ball and the hunger can still be seen. After 4 fascinating rounds Loren Roberts eventually won in a play-off. Many big names were narrowly beaten as the final leader board shows.
Looking back it really was a great event, from the relaxed atmosphere to the exciting golf. It was so nice to see the crowds of young fans queueing up for autographs and the friendly banter between the players.
A last mention for our Director Michael King who along with being a member at Sunningdale is an ex-player and without injury would have been in there at the end as his great friend Sam Torrance was.