Sneak Peek: This article will appear in the Feb. 11 edition of Global Golf Post.
When top players in the recent Saudi International were asked why they had chosen to play in that Arab land, one after another spoke of a desire to grow the game. Needless to say, none of them was about to say that it had more to do with appearance money.
However, when it was Patrick Reed’s turn, and he started to go down the “growing the game” route, you listened. And not least because of the extent to which he had just given his all at a Q&A session at a local school. European Tour officials had wanted their new honorary life member to tell the youngsters a thing or two about the game they would be watching the next morning.
The visit was designed to take no more than half an hour, but when, after some 15 minutes, the reigning Masters champion was advised that there was a car ready to take him back to Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, he asked if he could stay put.
In the end, he stayed for another hour and a half. At the invitation of the compère, he had played the “shushing” game, making like he did when he shushed the crowd during the 2016 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. Before he left, he signed a card for everyone before handing the headmaster another block of freshly signed cards just in case some of his pupils had been off school that day.
Such was his enthusiasm for this diversion that I asked if he had rung his wife, Justine, to tell her all about it. He had.
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