It might not be the first place that you think of heading if you’re lining up a trip to The Open, but if you’re fortunate enough to get in the stands behind the practice area you can spend a fair few hours watching the players go through their individual drills. It’s fascinating stuff.
There are a few rules to follow when you get there. Watch out for the Official Open cars – this year the Lexus – which buzz to and from the various practice areas transporting golf’s pampered stars around. Coming face to face with Tiger Woods as he climbs into the back of his motor and slightly blocking his route out is not advisable, as I discovered.
For real golfing enthusiasts the range is heaven. It has all types. Fiddly types, like your Harringtons, seen this week with string attached to his bag, some sort of training aid. Then there’s your ultra relaxed types. These are your Dustin Johnsons, John Dalys, Darren Clarkes even. Hit a few balls, smoke a cigarette, slap a lot of fellow pros’ backs.
Whoever you watch, they’re all different. Next time you plan a trip to The Open, give yourself time to visit the range, it might be the best spot you actually get, especially as the numbers start to swell out on the course over the weekend.