Abu Dhabi Golf Club hosted the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship from Thursday 19th – Sunday 22nd of January 2017. I knew I would be there for the 4 days as a spectator so I decided to volunteer! At the beginning of January I sent an email off and signed myself up for 4 days. As I had never done it before I didn’t chose a specific job, there were lots of options, but I said put me wherever as its my first time. I got an email back saying that there would be a volunteers BBQ on January 14th where we would get our uniforms and a briefing on the championship.
I went along to the BBQ on the 14th at The Westin Hotel and received a roster of what I would be doing (traveling marshal) and times. There was a free bar with LOADS of food and the organiser from Troon Golf in St Andrews gave a talk on what was expected from us throughout the championship.
On the first day I was scheduled to go out as a Traveling Marshal with Ricardo Gouveia, Jorge Campillo and Trevor Immelman. As a traveling marshal you stand on the tee box with the players and signal to the fairway marshal (who is half way down the fairway) the direction of the ball so that they can point it out, if needed, to the players. As a traveling marshal you also have to ensure that there is silence around the tee box when each player is taking their shot. When all players have taken their tee shot you travel along the hole with them.
On the second day of the tournament I was asked to marshal at the 1st tee grandstand and to ensure that there was no movement or noise on the grand stand as the groups were taking their tee shots. This was fun as I got to see all the different groups come through and take their first shot, it is amazing to see the ball flight and how far the pros can actually hit the ball!
On day 4 I was out with the third last group which was exciting because they were all in with a chance of winning. The players were Byeong Hun An, Peter Hanson and Dean Burmester. Unfortunately no one in my group won but it was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to do it all again next year. Fingers crossed that Rory McIllroy will make it next year and I get to be a travelling marshal with him!