“A GREAT experience” is how Todmorden Golf Club member Michele Miller described her recent visit to Royal St George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, Kent to assist in running one “The Open”.
Michele, who has a genuine interest in sports refereeing, has in the past officiated at hockey matches at both national and international level.
She also assisted in the World Student Games in 1990 and harbours an ambition to referee golf matches at some point in the future.
As well as being a recent past Lady Captain at Todmorden, Michele also runs her own driving school in the town.
She saw this latest foray as a first step in fulfilling her ambition.
During her 10-day stay at Sandwich, Michele was working shifts in the media marquee assisting the world’s TV and radio crews, sometimes starting at 8am.
She did manage to gain access to the practice and interview areas as well as the course itself.
She felt there was a friendship between the media crews and an excitement which built up as the first day of The Open drew nearer.
She made many new friends, one of whom had to fly off to Germany at short notice to cover the USA football team who had reached the final of the Women’s World Cup.
Michele brought back many souvenirs including autographs, programmes and photos, many of them signed by the world’s top players and recent past major champions - quite a few of which were from Northern Ireland.
She even managed to touch “the auld claret jug” as Chubby Chandler (Darren Clarke’s manager) carried it around after Darren had dramatically won it for the first time on the Sunday.
That must surely be every golfer’s dream.
Michele is now looking forward to volunteering for next year’s Open which will be held at Royal Lytham and St Annes which, fortunately for her, is a bit nearer than Kent.