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When he set his left foot on the tarmac, the world's greatest golfer said: "This is one small step for Tiger, one giant leap for golf". Or apparently words to that effect. Tiger's entourage is apparently colour-coded to make it easier to control them. It was noted who went into the different-coloured cars. Even the luggage van was described to radio listeners.
What is odd and embarrassing about all of this is that Tiger has been in Victoria and Australia before. Three times in fact. He played in an Australian Open in Sydney, a Masters at Huntingdale and the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne. We could not be accused of being blase. Papers and broadcasters have retold his whole life 30 times over as they trumpeted his pending arrival. Compared to Tiger's welcome, the likes of the Pope and the Queen slip in and out of Australia anonymously. Even when it's not even Tiger's first coming, second coming, third coming but his fourth.
It really was an embarrassing and immature response from the media. But worse was to unfold when we reached Kingston Heath, a fine, old course that has been stretched and tweaked for this event and will show off a new clubhouse. Organisers have turned the course at Cheltenham into a golfing gulag. Mobile phones are banned, as are cameras. Running is taboo. More than 40 sniper lairs have been built around the course. Anyone trotting will be fired on with rubber bullets. But those who break out into a genuine gallop, well - bang, bang you're dead. Anyone clicking a camera in Tiger's backswing will be taken to the practice putting green where ritual beatings will take place around lunch time. The idea is to turn the clicker's finger into the size of Big Bertha. To continue reading click here