Cara Robinson: Landing her dream presenting job (Part 2)
Just over a year ago Cara Robinson moved to Orlando to begin her American adventure where she joined the Golf Channel as the co-host of the early morning chat show, Morning Drive.
How did the job at Golf Channel come about?
Simply through getting to know some of their staff while I was out on the road covering PGA Tour events for Golfing World. I formed a good relationship with my now-colleagues: Todd Lewis (Reporter) and Courtney Holt (Player Liaison), who thought it would be worth- while to put me in touch with their bosses.
I went for a screen test whilst I happened to be in Florida in early 2014 and that summer they asked me to join them as a guest host for a week on air, which IMG were kind enough to let me do, and soon after that they offered me the job on Morning Drive.
What have been the highlights so far?
Just simply co-hosting a live studio show about golf everyday. I still have to pinch myself. I used to watch Morning Drive all the time when I was over in America filming and remember thinking how much I’d love to do that job so I feel very lucky to be here.
But the best experience yet was the field-trip that Gary Williams, Damon Hack, Charlie Rymer and myself took to Chambers Bay a month ahead of the US Open. Only a few months after I’d started, it gave me a chance to get to know the guys better away from the confines of the studio.
What’s a typical working day on Morning Drive?
Well if it’s a typical 7-9am show, my alarm goes at 3:15am, I’m in make-up at 4am, production meeting at 5am followed by prep/breakfast etc., wardrobe change (I generally arrive in workout clothes so I have no choice but to hit the gym post-show), hair & make-up finishing touches and on set by 6:30am to get mic’d up, watch certain video packages, record voice teases etc. before 7am show time!
We are fortunate that we tend not to have many commitments post-show so can usually leave once the show is finished; then we all convene on email later that afternoon to plan the next day’s show.
Tell me about living in Orlando – how big a culture clash has it been?
You know it hasn’t really been that hard to adapt too. I was fortunate to spend a lot of time in America as a kid with my family in summer holidays visiting family friends, and resorts that Dad was working with [father Michael runs golf holiday company Destination Golf]; and I spent quite some time over here whilst covering the PGA Tour for Golfing World.
The biggest change has just been to start your life again in totally different place, with no previous ties, so making friends from scratch was something I hadn’t had to do for a while.
Has your own game improved since working in golf?
Not as much as you may expect! Working in golf, everyone expects you to be off scratch, but my background is in broadcasting, not from playing a high standard of golf.
And whilst I covered various Tours for Golfing World, I was always on the road filming other people play in Pro-Ams etc., so didn’t get much time to hone my own skills. And then when you do get time off, the course sometimes isn’t the first place you go. However, since moving to Florida, that has changed.
I’ve joined the Ritz Carlton-Orlando Grande Lakes which has incredible facilities and the Morning Drive schedule allows more free time in the day, so I often head down there straight after work; and am also very lucky to count on Mitchell Spearman (based at Isleworth) as my coach – something my Dad is very jealous of!
Favourite golf course in the world?
Royal Cinque Ports – just because of the memories and experiences I have enjoyed there over the years.
Favourite course in Orlando?
Would have to say The Ritz as I’ve played it the most. But Streamsong near Tampa is incredible.
If you were advising golfers looking to holiday in Orlando, what are the Top 5 courses they should play?
Country Club of Orlando. Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes. Interlachen (tough track). Streamsong as a day trip (near Tampa). That place is incredible. Dubsdread on a golf board!
Who do you most admire in your own field? Who inspires you?
As a female golf anchor, it has to be Kelly Tilghman, who I’m proud to now call a colleague. Watching her host ‘Live From’ coverage on Golf Channel over the years is very impressive.
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