Golf Australia’s high performance director Brad James has set up camp in Rio in his role as assistant to team leader Ian Baker-Finch for the Australian Olympic golf team.
The pair and others in the Australian contingent have spent the past few days scouting the Olympic course before the men's event begins on Thursday.
And with all the flags and national colours on bags and clothing, James says the atmosphere around Olympic golf is unique …
It really hits home what we’re about to be part of when you see a swag of colourful golf bags around the Olympic Golf Course.
Gone are the regular “staff” (pro tour) bags and shirts of regular sponsors of “normal” tournaments, replaced with the colours of 28 nations proud to be part of history.
It’s a great feeling and a unique sight.
What it does is help promote that strong sense of something very different going on and, in turn, that means there’s a huge feeling of anticipation around the golf course – a genuine buzz.
Everyone on our men’s team is in good spirits, working hard and preparing well for the first round on Thursday (morning, Brazilian time), with the women’s team to arrive on Thursday and Friday.
We have an early practice round booked tomorrow morning for the final preparations for Scott Hend and Marcus Fraser, both of whom are soaking up their Olympic experience. We all plan to leave the course and go to watch a few other Games events, then an early night before the first round.
To get as much of the Aussie team spirit as we can, we went to the Olympic village yesterday and met swimming medallist James Magnussen and toured the village, which was another awesome experience.
Our evenings are spent watching other sports and enjoying each other's company.
It’s certainly a real team environment our team leader Ian Baker-Finch has created.