Pickala Golf – The LET Experience #2

As the dust settled on Friday’s round I prepared to take Tvesa‘s clubs back to the shuttle for one last time. A message and a quick chat and my Saturday schedule was back on track. Read more about the LET weekday experience here if you haven’t done so already.

I knew that there was a ruling that players in the top 18 spots needed to have a caddy on the final day and I was lucky enough to have been selected to push a trolley for a compatriot.

I was privileged to get selected for Meghan Maclaren. She was in 5th spot overnight and shot two rounds of 68. I was looking forward to this, despite the blister 😀

Through the chat over the first few days, and experiencing the way the players carried out their business, I was aware that there were many players that don’t have caddies and I would assume that when they do they would be very much on their own.

Note the caddy 😀

Meghan was very warm also and she was very easy to be around. We chatted a fair bit but with regards to anything close to advice, I gave none – nor would I really expect to. In fact I didn’t even laser her distances to have any clues as to how far away she really was. Having played the course successfully a couple of times the need for “Local knowledge” had diminished somewhat also.

I really was just doing the basics. Unlike the previous days the player took the clubs and hit. Tvesa did talk out what she was going to do most of the time. I assume that is just part of her process.

Weather got in the way of this round too. There was a multiple hour delay after the thunder clapped as players were about to putt on the first hole. After that break though we continued until round completion with a few spits of rain and a few gusts of wind. It was quite tricky out there.

What made this day even more interesting was the grouping. Obviously being so close to the top of the leaderboard there was going to be a bit of an interest. Sophie Witt was accompanied by her mother on the bag and then there was local favourite Linda Osala – who was caddied by former NHL player and husband Oskar.

The latter meant that there were crowds following the match. As we were the penultimate grouping there was a hope that the Finn could do some magic. I think at the beginning of the round there were a few hundred people following the match. However, Linda started off really slowly and struggled quite a bit – going out in 39.

This did not stop the crowds though as there were no “ropes” so players and caddies were often marshalled through to the next tees.

The attention was not just on the course though. After the round I had a few messages saying that they saw me on the TV. I was also interview by the club’s social media channels, which is somewhat embarrassing, but all part of the experience.

Note the caddy 😀

Watching these ladies play was interesting and different from the previous days. Obviously the pressures were a bit different but they, again, did not get into too much trouble.

Meghan did hit a few bad shots, but you would not be able to tell from her demeanour. She was super calm throughout and took her chances when she had them. A couple of misplaced shots towards the end of the round led to bunkers and bogeys and a, probably disappointing, 73 in the end.

It was a top 10 finish though on a day where many struggled.

After saying our goodbyes I hung around to watch the final group finish. It turned out to be quite a gripping ending to the tournament which apparently was missed by Finnish TV. Carmen Alonso capping a great week with those Spanish Hands.

Golf always seems to conjure up some fantastic storylines – this week was not different. And for me, it was like a dream!

To be around such talented people, the organisation, the competition, the friendships. It was truly fascinating to observe and even more amazing to actually have some part in it.

Thank you to the local organisers, especially Sirpa, and the players for making me feel welcome.

This boy has checked one thing off the bucket list!