Budget cuts at major newspapers took another retrograde step last week, when the golf correspondent of a major London-based newspaper was booked in to stay in a caravan for a week while covering the Open Championship at Turnberry.
The newspaper, which in the past has staffed the major golf event with two or three writers, this year sent just a single reporter.
Turnberry, 40 miles from Glasgow, is noted as being one of the most difficult of Open venues for access and accommodation.
It is understood that an accommodation booking to hire a house for the week of the Championship was cancelled by the reporter’s sports desk to save on costs, and instead the reporter was booked into a holiday caravan park on the Scottish coast.
With play on some days of the four-day event beginning at 6am and continuing into the twilight at 9.30pm or later, the reporter was facing possible 18-hour working days, in which he covered the tournament’s drama which culminated in 59-year-old former champion Tom Watson losing in a play-off against Stewart Cink, before he was able to head off for an evening meal and his accommodation.
“He was told that it was a ‘luxury’ caravan park,” a colleague familiar with the reporter’s plight told sportsjournalists.co.uk.
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