Defender gives insider's view on Stateside training camp
GREETINGS from California’s capital city!
Sacramento is already living up to its billing as the sunniest location on the planet from July to September.
I’ve taken over the tour diary duties this summer from usual columnist Chris Brunt, my room-mate in the US who is continuing his comeback from a groin op.
We arrived at our pre-season training camp in the States after our 18-hour-plus journey came to an end on Thursday just before 6pm – that’s 2am back home.
Our first day on tour was all about getting from the West Midlands to the West Coast and, due to the fact we would be eight hours behind in the US, fighting off the onset of jetlag.
However, my attempts to stay awake as long as possible and get my body clock in sync with the Pacific Time Zone came to a premature end – just three hours after ‘wheels up’ at Heathrow!
After the 10-hour plus flight into San Francisco, we began what should have been a short-ish coach journey up Interstate 80 to Sacramento.
I say 'should have been' because I think the coach driver had set his sat-nav to ‘traffic finder’. The I-80 was like the M6 on a Friday afternoon!
I’ve never been to ‘San Fran’ before and we got plenty of chance to glimpse Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge as we crawled across the impressive Bay Bridge and beyond.
After arriving in Sacramento at tea-time, we found that our hotel sits just across from the California State Capital Building, which caught the eye as we made the short walk to a local pool for a recovery session.
The performance staff laid on a gentle workout to loosen our limbs after the long flight and we were soon back at the hotel calling it a night.
I managed to stay awake until 9pm – and then jetlag struck. I was wide awake at 2.30am! Thankfully, The Open was on TV and I managed to while away a few sleepless hours watching the early tee-offs.
It probably wasn’t the best preparation for Friday’s toil in the sun…but I’ll live!