The Race to Dubai has the World's top golfers playing for a share of $8,000,000 and is part of the Rolex Series. I'm walking round with the top players with a live TV crew recording the sound of the caddies speaking to the golfers, up close and personal on the tee's, fairway and edge of the greens. It's hard work, the kit weighs around 3kg with the battery packs, I have an ear piece to get instructions and to be able to radio back in for a ref etc, head phones so I can hear what sound I'm picking up, then add a mask, back pack with food and drink, sunglasses and a hat and I'm my own game of buckaroo or if you're older, I could try balancing a cabbage for my own episode of Crackerjack.
A list for the day helps.
I know who plays the greens slowly and who takes their time with the tee shots. I know which players get a little upset when they hit a bad shot and those who like to have a laugh with their team mates when they're walking down the fairways. But it's a serious game, with a lot of money at stake.
There is little interaction from the players towards us, minimal conversation from them and barely a thank you at the end of 18 holes. I'm not sure many of them are aware most of us are volunteers though.
Recording sound is great fun, you get to walk right up close and personal with the players, it's rare to be within 2 meters of them anyway as you have to keep out the way of the cameras and quite often there can be 3-4 per hole. Trying to find your position to record the sound on the green, away from the cameras, out of the sight line of the golfers without walking on the green is tricky and I'm often having to sprint ahead to get into position, then they over hit and you have to just stay completely still and watch your shadows at the end of the day.
The worse thing that can actually happen is for a golfer or a caddy to ask you to move as you know you've got it wrong, thankfully that hasn't happened to me yet.
Some of the golfers and caddies don't actually realise how much you can hear with the mic. Quite often I'll laugh out loud and they'll ask 'did she hear that?' 'Yes I did'. I've heard some great stories as I've walked alongside, behind and even in front if the wind is blowing in the right direction. The sound is fed back to the studio, I point at their faces when they're lining up for a shot, the ground when they hit the ball, then the crowd for the applause.
I also pick up comments, personal stories, breaking wind and sometimes comments aimed at me in an attempt to knock me off balance and make me blush. (I'm the mother of 4 adult males, they must try harder) Some will deliberately swear so they know the sound won't be used and try to encourage me to walk with the other golfer.
I won't be repeating the stories on here or social media, no one has ever told me I can't but ethically I know it would be wrong.