Our roaming, professional spectator has taken this opportunity to offer some useful tips on how to prepare for your fun day at the course watching many of Europe's leading Professionals in action.
PREPARE FOR THE WEATHER:
The weather could turn cold, wet or windy and there is little shelter on a golf course. Bring an umbrella and warm, waterproof clothing. If sunny conditions are expected, bring sun block and a hat.
MINIMISE DAMAGE TO THE COURSE:
Wear flat-soled shoes with grip on the sole, like sneakers or golf shoes. Heels damage the grass and will make walking difficult. Smooth soled shoes will cause difficulties when walking up or down grassy slopes.
MAKE A PLAN:
There are 2 basic ways to watch golf. You can either follow one group around the course or you can stay in one spot and watch the groups coming past. Many parts of a golf course, like hills around the greens, make great vantage points.
It is critical that you are silent when golfers are taking their shots. Course Marshals will hold up "quiet" signs, which you must obey. Ensure your mobile phone is turned off. You will be asked to leave the course if it rings.
BEWARE OF FLYING GOLF BALLS:
Think about where you are standing and watch where the golfers are hitting. Even the top golfers can hit bad shots into the crowds. If a ball lands near you, never touch it. Point it out to an official. Someone yelling "fore" means a ball is headed for people so cover your head and face with your arms.
STAY OUTSIDE THE ROPES:
The fairways, tees and greens will be roped off to protect spectators from flying golf balls and to make space for competitors. There will be marked points at which you can cross. Follow the directions of the Course Marshals and Officials at all times.
GET A MAP:
The golf course is very large and it is difficult to locate particular holes. The Official Programme and Official Draw Sheets contain a great map that will help you move around the course to find the holes and golfers you are looking for.
FOOD AND DRINKS:
Keep yourself well fed and enjoy a break in the public hospitality village. It's a good chance to check the scoreboard, enjoy a drink and see how the top players are performing, and where they are so you can get back into the action at the right place after your break.
If you want to try to meet the players or get their signatures, wait until they finish their round and have signed their card in the Marshals area. Only after their round will they be happy to talk or sign autographs. Please do not try to talk to them or get autographs during play.