Bonville Golf Resort, 5 - 7 April, 2024

The Australian Women's Classic Bonville - Presented by Pacific Bay Resort Studios

HAYES: Reality Bites, it’s everything but not how it appears…

The age of Netflix “lessons” is amazing.

Think, for example, of the millions of new fans that Formula 1 racing has won courtesy of “Drive to Survive”.

And of those – hands up if you’re one of them – how many people now think they know about the ins and outs of the F1 paddock.

“Full Swing” is golf’s equivalent – another fine production that attempts to take people inside the ropes, so to speak.

And while it has lifted the lid on some great stories and personal insights we’d not otherwise have seen, it has done nothing to some viewers other than reinforce the perception of obscenely rich professionals who travel only in private jets and sleep in duvets cobbled together in $100 bills.

Let me assure you, this is not true.

This is akin to looking at Yao Ming – the former NBA star – and saying all Chinese people are seven feet tall.

It might be true in a rare instance, but it’s demonstrably a nonsense to anyone with their head north of the sand.

My point is ostensibly true on every tour excluding the US PGA Tour and now, maybe, the LIV Tour.

The reality is FAR closer to what we saw at Bonville today.

A great course, sure. A super talented and international field, tick.

But that’s where it ends.

A 132-strong group of amazing women gathered early in the week with intentions of playing three rounds for a title of growing importance.

A crazy out-of-season weather event derailed these plans and led to 1000 questions that have since bounced around the Bonville clubhouse unabated.

“Is the tournament going to be shortened?”

“Will it still have rankings points?”

“What’s the go with order of merit status if it’s only 18 holes?”

“Can I leave the course for a few hours if the rain stays?”

“Should I rebook my flight if we go into Monday?”

“How will I get to my next event if things don’t go according to plan and my travelling mate has to go ahead?”

And the big one …

“Will I still get paid?”

These are the cold, hard realities for the vast majority of professional golfers; sadly, more so for women than men.

It’s not glamorous to huddle with colleagues in a steamy clubhouse while the rain teems down outside and you’re watching your chances of earning your next airfare run down a bubbling drain.

It’s not cool to have four taxi passengers running errands for 12 other women around nearby Coffs Harbour in order to get dry clothes back to the clubhouse while the seemingly eternal wait ensues.

It’s definitely not sexy to finish before lunch on a Saturday in a position somewhere around the prospective cut line, but not yet know whether or not there would indeed be a cut seven hours later.

As it turned out, a cut was made after 18 holes – a rarity for LET and WPGA Tour events, but a call made clearly so that minimal disruption to the lives of everyone involved, including those who live, work and play at the host club.

It’s a tough call for LET officials whose membership predominantly play to avoid falling under the bread line.

Rest assured, it will be flake and chips and not duck a l’orange for the vast majority of all at Bonville.

It’s not a matter of turning left when you board the plane home to Scandinavia, but how far away your seat might be from the lavatories in the cheapest economy seats to the right.

These are the realities of real professional golf.

Don’t expect Netflix cameras here for tomorrow’s final round, as compelling as the storylines will be for those who deal far more in reality.

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