REGULAR listeners of BBC Radio Scotland’s Saturday afternoon football coverage were probably wondering where host Richard Gordon was at the weekend.
Inside the ropes at the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship is the answer, the self-confessed Aberdeen fan having escaped his first love for a stint covering another sport he is passionate about. Looking more like a Dundee United fan in his bright orange top than a Don, Gordon was working at the opening event of the European Tour’s Middle East Swing for Corporate Commentary.
“This is the third year I’ve done this and, as much as I love Scottish football, it is a nice time of the year to get away for a bit of sunshine while I’m also a huge golf fan and have covered the sport on and off for the radio for 20 years now,” he said. “It’s a little step out of the comfort zone being out on the course doing the commentary, but it’s great fun. It’s a chance to watch some of the best players in the world up close and personal.”
Gordon was joined at the hip on the Abu Dhabi Golf Club course by former European Tour player John Hawksworth, a commentator these days and the man who set up Corporate Commentary along with its producer, Colin Stephen. “I think our listeners, here especially though not nearly as much as The Open, enjoy it because a lot of them are not too knowledgeable about golf,” added Gordon.
“That’s John’s expertise so he can be informative. He can also be very funny at times and my job quite often is to play the straight role. It’s similar in a way to ‘Open All Mics’ on Radio Scotland. Golf is a different kind of broadcasting.
“Football on a Saturday afternoon can be absolutely frantic. It’s flying by seat of the pants stuff at times as you’ve no idea what is happening next.”