You get to see a lot when you move away from the action. Sometimes it is what happens away from the actual game that matters the most. Moments before her tee time, Brooke Henderson was asked for an autograph by a young girl. For some, particularly the men’s game, this simply would not happen. Yet, Brooke was happy to sign the young girl’s baseball cap. She even had her photo taken with her. Seeing the excitement on the young girl’s face was special. In that moment, a professional golfer had made her day.
“Wow, you have loads on your hat don’t you?” I said as her cap was almost full of signatures.
The young girl replied with a massive grin on her face: “Yeah, but Brooke is my favourite!”
Her dad told me how his daughter had just started playing. The importance of an autograph can never be understated in making her strive to emulate her idols.
Some, on the other hand, like to chase autographs whilst having no idea just who they are asking. When I told Matt Cooper, a fellow journalist, about the story I was writing, he provided me with a gem of an anecdote.
“I saw an older man ask Brittany Lincicome for an autograph. “Can I have your autograph? he asked. Brittany signed it then the man asked: “That’s great thanks, Who are you?”
Brittany laughed then she told him her name. She found the whole thing charming without any hint of sarcasm. These are the real moments that I love more than anything. Sometimes you have to take your eyes off the golf to actually find them.
This is what I love about women’s golf. Whilst the golf itself is just as competitive as anything else you will see, it is the characters that make up the field that really sets it apart. It is good hearted and completely genuine. Sometimes we focus on the game a little too much. We forget that the players are just as human as us mere mortals.
I often tell people that the Ricoh Women’s British Open is my favourite week of the year. Some might think I’m a little sad but frankly, I stopped caring what people thought about me a long time ago. It is moments like these that make me love it even more. On my journey home from Kingsbarns, I’ll be a little sad that the whole thing is over, but then again, excited that another year is on its way.
For those that think that the women’s game is not as good as the men’s all I can say is that I think you give it try. Come and support events like this, believe me, you won’t be disappointed.