I have not attended a live golf event since 2016. It was the Valspar Championship. Just this past Thursday, I attended it again. Many things have changed since then. First, and foremost, fewer people can attend. Another one is that they recommend you wear a mask, but many did not because the event is outside. We were also unable to get autographs and photos with the players. On the other hand, I was able to take some good pictures while behind the ropes as a spectator. Many will say that it is boring to watch golf. Some cannot watch it on television. I have been doing it since I was a kid. I have been to three live golf events. As an amateur golfer, we can learn some things from professional players. It is cool to see these players up close and see how they play the game.
As many may not know, a player’s caddie is especially important. It is cool to see how they discuss every aspect of their game depending on the shot and the course. Standing at the tee in the fairway and around the green was fascinating. When it came to teeing off, they would agree on an aiming point in the fairway. It could be a tree or an object that would set them up for a good second or approach shot. Once on the fairway, they would look at the green and where the flag was on the green. In some cases, a player may not go directly at the flag because it is hard or does not always set up well for them. For the most part, the players were attacking the flag. Sometimes the players and caddies do not always agree on a shot.
When it came to the greens, caddies would help tell the player how the putt broke towards the hole. If a player was short of the green the player may elect to putt or chip the ball. The greens at the Valspar Championship can sometimes be easy to read but others are harder. The players may get down low behind the ball to see how the putt will break. The caddie would make sure the player had seen the same break that they did. No matter what happened on any shot the caddie and player would just move on to the next shot. If things went great, they would fist pump each other. At the fifth hole, I saw Brandt Snedeker hole out for an eagle from about 120 yards out. Once the ball spun back into the hole, the fans including myself, went crazy as did Snedeker’s caddie.
Overall, the Valspar Championship was a fun experience for me. It is so cool to see how professional golfers play the game that I love. I also got to see the players warming up on the driving range and how they do it. As an amateur player, I have taken some things that I saw into my own game. Watching golf on TV is not the same as seeing it in person. That goes for all sports. Maybe next year I can cover it as a media member and hopefully, we will have more people able to attend. If not, I would get another ticket and make the Valspar Championship a yearly attended sporting event.