Living large in Dubai
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The scribes and the sherpas are getting a lot of respect this week. More than we’ve gotten all season.
Writers and caddies can’t complain about the treatment at this week’s Dubai World Championship. It’s nothing but five-star.
We writers have a front-row seat beside the 18th green, prime real estate usually reserved for corporate sponsors.
We’ve got air conditioning, comfy chairs, free Wi-Fi and free food. Good food, too. We won’t be losing weight this week.
In fact, the food and the Wi-Fi are so good that I hope Michael Tate, assistant secretary of the R&A, took notice when he was in the media center today. The R&A charges us for Wi-Fi at the Open Championship, only for it to go down several times a day.
We have a bar and lounge chairs in the dining room overlooking the 18th green. We’ve even have a balcony so we can sun ourselves and watch golf when we take writing breaks.
So much for the days of the poor scribe.
Don’t think it’s always as salubrious as this. It isn’t. We’re normally treated pretty well, but I’ve covered some tournaments in my time where we’ve been made to feel like second-class citizens.
Speaking of which, the caddies haven’t always been given the royal treatment over the years. It doesn’t seem too long ago that caddies were sleeping in bunkers and huddling outside the clubhouse in the rain, their lowly status making them leper-like in the eyes of many private clubs.
This week, the caddies have their own air-conditioned lounge. It’s a huge tent with food and libations. I don’t know if it has Wi-Fi, but they’ve got one thing we don’t have: a foosball table!
I’m almost jealous. Almost.