The start of every year is based on the last, will it be better or worse ? will I travel more or spend less? My last year would be a tough one to beat, as that year was when this all started and when I met Tiger Woods oh ye and I was at the Ryder Cup. For years before that I had done what everyone does just lived for work and worked to live, no holidays nothing extra special, just a binman who liked golf. Its true my life has been very eventful and I have done and seen more things than most from war zones to hospitals and prisons, I have canoed the great lakes of Scotland and run up and down a few hills but none of that can compare to this past twelve months. lets start from the beginning, after being with the local Authority for over 20 years things finally came to a head, times had to change and they did. My mental health has always had a impact on my life since my accident I the Army, the job people do has a massive impact on mental health issues and I cannot express enough staying in a job which affects your health is not a good option, granted many people are not able to choose where and when to leave, I would say you health over rides all, and life will work out better and become more stable if you make that decision.
So I started to work at the golf club I was a member at, but more important I made a decision to do more golf and volunteer related work. Working at Close house was great, the members who come from all sorts of backgrounds, in industry and business. From entrepreneurial teenagers to retired firemen, they all have the same love hate relationship with golf as we all do, and it was really nice being back part of the hospitality scene. The owner and now Knight of the realm Sir Graham Wylie is probably one of the nicest people I have met, he would regularly come down with his children and pop in for a tea and a chat, similar to his wife who again you would see around the various parts of the grounds helping with Christmas trees or decorations. From these chats came the chance to volunteer for the World Transplant games which would take place later on in the year. Before all that I still had a few more Marshall jobs to do, One was for the Scottish Open and the other was at the Solhiem Cup.
The Scottish open came, and so did the decision to take Mr T Rex with me. The weather at the Renaissance Club was really hot and there were a few sights to be seen. Two major events happened that week 1 I was captured by sky TV in my t Rex costume and Rory Mcllroy was part of the vids that followed, this again gave everyone a little laugh. And second and the most important part was that I finally built up the courage to find out about the TV assistant roles. The whole week was pretty good I saw a few friends from the forces, and after wearing the costume for most of the week lost about a stone in water weight. There was a few funny moments as well Aberdeen assets had a massive hot air balloon behind one of the tees, but every time they tried to inflate it, the noise would put the players off. They also had water points around the course where you could refill the bottles that they had given you, very green and a good idea ! only problem the water containers were black and they had been super heated by the sun, it would have been better for tea !!
After a summer in the shed at close house the next month would be full of events, the first was the World Transplant games. I had no idea how this would impact me, and the friendships I would make. I had volunteered with a mate from the golf club Peter Bowers, we had played a few times and been out for a few drinks but we were not dating or nothing ! Seriously we had both put in for roles that over the course of the week would change a little. Peter a Instagram and social media tycoon would do a media role, this involved taking pictures of himself and maybe some of the athletes. Me I was team attache, problem was my teams were Finland, Slovakia, Israel and others, of course I am fluent in many languages just not those, but to be honest the teams didn't need that much help, as they all have good team captains and managers. I wasn't sure about how serious the games would actually be, but after the first day and some allegations of cheating and professionals in teams I soon realised how serious they were. I also soon realised these athletes didn't want pity or handouts, they wanted to live. Most have been close to death, some on many occasions! so now the choose to enjoy life and pass the message on. Its very apt now in this time of lock down when we all are missing everything we take for granted like relationships and freedoms, the question will be will we learn like the athletes or will we choose to go back to normal ? As the week progress I got promoted or demoted to the presidents driver (chaperone) and Peter ? well he just did what he did. Watching the athletes compete not against others but against life itself was inspiring and I did cry my eyes out when it was over. Both me and Peter was so moved and involved we decided to put our names forward for the next event in Texas 2022.
My last Marshal tournament for now ! The Solhiem Cup was going to be my last voluntary harra within golf, being a volunteer is exactly that voluntary and most of the time it costs both in holidays and travel. It is however still the greatest way to see golf and get involved in some of the biggest events in the world. This event I was a hole controller ( not fat controller) my team was from around the world, including Denmark, Holland, Canada and of course Gleneagles Scotland. Womens golf has been on the decline for many years and needed a story and as if it was written in the stars it came the captains pick, the controversial Suzann Pettersen would change history. The start of the week had done nothing for golf, with social media going mad about the pace of play and how good was women's golf ? Well I was there and I can tell you, yep the rounds were long but the weather was poor and some players did take a long time but, the golf was unreal ! Van Damme is a woman with a long drive athletes swing, only problem is she has the figure of a supermodel. Some of the approach play from both teams was awesome, especially because of the weather. During the weekend I also got out the T Rex costumes, one red for team USA and one blue for Europe again it gave people families a small laugh and i was lucky enough to announce Texas on the live stage, who is still amazing by the way. But the Solhiem like the Rydercup is always about Sunday and like I said earlier it was a unbelievable Finnish where some many other things had to happen for Suzann to actually have the winning putt.
From north to south, after popping home for a wash and some clean pants ! I headed off to Wentworth and the European Tours flagship event, this would also be my first paid event ( no pressure then ) I got there early as I wanted to take some time out to see my old Army barracks. I did my apprenticeship in this area, play table tennis in Ascot and rode horses in Windsor, this was where the army turned me into a man and will always have a special place in my heart. The BMW is not just a golfing event its part of the social calendar, cram packed with sports, tv, film and one or two golfers its a spot the hot or not ? problem for me is most of the stars are ones from social media. But like a true alpha male and female golf enthusiast it wasn't long before I spotted Lucy Robson, get out of the way Rory I want a selfie with Lucy. Working with the TV crew was all new, standing beside Andrew Coltart in the lunch queue was all a bit weird but once I told him was a T Rex everything was fine ! saying that he hasn't spoken to me since, wonder why ? The best thing about the job is the fact that everyone like golf and that sometimes you get to see or be a part of something amazing, like Ross Fishers albatross yep I was there. Big events also mean big sponsors from Hugo Boss to lindt chocolate, who by the way walk around the whole tournament giving away free samples wow, just waiting for BMW to do the same !
So life has a way of putting you back in your place after coming back from Wentworth I learnt that my friend Peter was unwell after having a few issues on his own trip away, It wasn't until later that month in October my friend Peter passed away. I had just returned from Portugal to find out the bad news, I only just started to know Peter his past life in the Army, his relationships and how terrible he was at golf. He has a amazing family and many friends and it was and is a pleasure to remember him, he enjoyed life and my only regret will be he will not be coming with me to Texas, as I still plan to travel in his honour.
RIP Peter Bowers
Pastures new and I started to work at the City of Newcastle Golf club, a old club that has a million dollar look. Back behind the bar making some money to fund my new travelling job and YouTube Channel. its vary rare that you would get the support of a boss when you tell them your going to be away most of the time but like my wife, family and friends I have been lucky with the support I get and have, or maybe they are happier when I am away ! After the normal chaos that is Christmas and New Year my eyes were firmly set on the middle east and the start of my new golf TV role.
Its hot in Jan too ! my first working holiday and I couldn't have got much further away Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Saudi and Qatar some of the world richest nations, building into space and Islands shaped like worlds. in Jan the average temp is similar to UK summer, all of these Arab nations have something to offer and different rules to follow, what I would say is do your homework and check things out first. They are all beautiful and nearly everyone speaks good English. The golf was great as always and I had the chance to work with Phil Michelson and Dustin Johnston, with these events running together most of the people are the same and its a great way of meeting new friends.I was also pleased to watch Lee Westwood win in Abu Dhabi, as well as film James Robinson and Bellangelgolf and catch up with Lucy Robson again ( lucky or stalking you decide ) Qatar was the last and most recent event, back in Feb rumours and a few closures had started happening and I wasn't sure if I was going to take part as concerns about getting home were getting closer as each day passed, I did fly with a friend and was able to play some golf as well which was rare. Qatar and Doha are the venue for the World cup and I can say without biased is probably the nicest, cleanest and interesting of all the Arabic nations, yes Saudi Arabia is also up and coming but Qatar was just so good. Towards the end of the tournament rumours turned into fact and the next tournament was cancelled, flying home was strange and of course the next few weeks got stranger. like I said before two months ago I was drinking Stella in Dubai soaking up the sun, now I am delivering prescriptions to the sick and dying. We all are looking to get through however long it might be, cleaning cupboards, writing diary's, going on long walks or just playing the xbox. last year Avengers Endgame came out and I cant stop thinking about the scene after the snap where Captain America says "we have to get through this " Well I am trying, I shop at Asda in my T Rex costume to give people a laugh like before but to also give me a little break I write my blog and make my vids for You tube, but the real truth is I am scared to lose more friends and family, to lose the life I have just made. When we do go back how many times will we say what happened to that guy or do you remember ? Make your next year the one that you wont forget, make your stamp on this earth ! one you, your family and friends will all be proud of.