Good evening from the Waldorf Astoria on the Palm, Dubai. It has been an interesting day today for me to learn about The Majlis Course at the Emirates Golf Club. These courses are so different to playing back home with the grass, the rough, the layout, the temperature, the types of sand. All completely new to high handicapper used to mudballing the thing around trying make a bogey.
Team UK were able to go out as a group again today to get to take part in the official practice day. The real fun starts tomorrow. I tell you what though it starts to sink in when you see the French, the Dutch, the Honk Kong, the Slovaks – all 40 countries in their team gear and bags talking their native language all milling about. Looks being exchanged across breakfast buffet. Sizing people up for bandit potential. To be fair it was like a wild west tavern down there this morning. I decided to rock up, walking tall and eat something particularly athletic for breakfast – omlette and bowl of granola, black coffee and off I went. Anyone clocking that will be thinking ‘player’.
The round itself was very relaxed. General chatting about the course and how to attack each hole. There was a lot of looking at GPS systems and having a go at things that tomorrow we now know work but also a lot of what not to do. Drivers used where tomorrow I will be more conservative with a 5 wood or this time I went too conservative and the big stick will be coming out tomorrow. You should see my yard book, covered in scribbles. To add some spice to proceedings my yardage lazer packed in after 1 hole – the battery went but the kind staff at the Emirates quickly got off to get me a new one from the Pro Shop.
In total I went round in 31 points. Thats not scoring to scare the top of the table each day but there were a few pars in there and a couple of things I wont be trying tomorrow. Driving the par 4 green on 17th for example. That simply wont happen as I will have full on game head on from the moment the wake up call happens. Shades will go on and Iceman comes out. Dont touch me, dont talk to me just hit your ball mate and let me worry about mine. Proper bell end yeah haha. On that point though I have never worn a pair of sunglasse before to play golf though but yesterday I found squinting was doing my head in so I invested in some polarized Oakley shades. The bollocks. To be fair they were great and I never had to worry about them falling off or affecting the vision – made it much better to be honest.
After the round I swerved all organised activities to stay at the hotel, extend todays massage from 50 mins to 80 mins and chill out. I had dinner with a few of the UK team and the tee times were released – I am off at 8.30am which means a 6.15am car across to the Golf Club to eat and get properly prepared. I am off with a player from South Africa and Italy. Lets be having you then lads. Off to bed early now then – just enough time to set out the day 1 match kit.