The Cut : The Cut - Winter 2016
56 THE CUT How big is golf in Oman? It’s a growing sport. Luckily, the Sultan of Oman is a fan of golf and he’s putting some coin into it. There was a municipal course, the Ghala Golf Club, which used to be a sand-based course but he paid for it to be redone with grass and paid for all the irrigation. They’re obviously targeting tourists, but it was cool to see some of the locals play the game as well. You’ve travelled to some out-of-the-way courses in New Zealand too? We like to have a balance on the show. We do the high-end international courses because people like to see how the other half golf, in the same way that people used to love watching Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Then we do the small country courses in New Zealand that people have played or might have driven past on a road trip. They’re always great fun and you meet some great characters. There’s something like 400 golf courses in the country and we’re slowly ticking them off. Are there any downsides to the job? The travel, while it’s also an upside, does get tiring after a while. Schlepping through airports with heavy gear is never fun and then you have to deal with the jetlag and being away from home. Then there’s the odd professional golfer who doesn’t give you the time of the day. Sometimes asking a professional for an interview is like asking a girl out on a date. They’ve got all the excuses under the sun. I managed to convince Rickie Fowler recently. He was in the middle of making his excuses and walking away when I said, “We’ve come all the way from New Zealand.” He ended up giving us a few minutes, so playing the New Zealand card sometimes works. I’m guessing the New Zealand card helps when you’re trying to film Lydia Ko? We’ve filmed with Lydia since she was seven years old and she hasn’t changed that much. She’s still a happy-go-lucky, smiley girl and she’s coping so well with all the hype and the attention. She’s phenomenal. She gives this appearance of being so relaxed and carefree but when it’s time to hit a shot she gets her game face on. The other professionals know she’s ruthless when she needs to be and it frustrates the hell out of them. She’s a credit to the country and she genuinely loves New Zealand. Some people might think it’s an act, but she’s very much a down-to- earth Kiwi kid. Have you had any ‘pinch me’ moments in the job? I was at the World Celebrity Pro-Am at Mission Hills in China two years ago and it was the most surreal interview I’ve ever done. I had John Daly on one side and the actress Jessica Alba on the other. I remember thinking to myself, “How did I get here? How did this happen?” Randall Munro was talking to Robert Tighe. Holden Golf World shows on Sky Sport (Wednesday) and TV3 (Thursday). Randall Munro inter views John Daly and actress Jessica Alba at the World Celebrity Pro-Am at Mission Hills, China.
The Cut - Spring 2016