LUNCHING with Tiger Woods, fighting off alligators with Sergio Garcia and acting as a father figure for Darren Clarke is all in a day's work for Portal Premier academy director John Newton.
From Valderrama and Augusta to St Andrews and the K Club, the fitness guru from Tarporley has seen it all during his seven years as Clarke's personal fitness instructor.
But with the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake this week playing host to the Open for the first time in 39 years, the 52-year-old admits there is a special atmosphere surrounding the event.
'It's just like being back home for me,' he explained, referring to his childhood years in Birkenhead.
'I've been to seven Masters, which would be a dream for any golfer, and I'm quite blasé about it now, but being here brings back lots of memories and there is definitely a real buzz about the place.
'The crowd have been really receptive and the place is completely packed out. It is one of the busiest Opens I've been to.'
Newton took time out from his hectic schedule to speak to The Chronicle about his experiences on the Tour and his role in Clarke's bid for Open glory.
He explained: 'I'm primarily Darren's fitness coach which involves overseeing his stretching and training because it's critical he can turn properly as the game is all about swing.
'Over the years we've become friends and I'm more like his PA now and even his mum and dad say I'm like his other dad - I'd prefer to be more like his brother though!'
Newton's allegiance to Clarke has seen him spend the last week in Hoylake in preparation for the competition and, after soaking up the atmosphere and sharing a coke with Dietmar Hamann after bumping into the former Liverpool footballer in a local bar, he is set to be on duty for the remainder of the event.
Newton said: 'I'll be on the rough with Darren helping him to warm up and I'll give him a massage if he needs one. 'When he goes to play I'll walk around and watch him and monitor his swing, so I'm always on call if he needs me.'
Having travelled across the globe as part of Clarke's team, Newton has clocked up as many fond memories as he has air miles and, despite interest from rival players such as Thomas Bjorn and Paul Lawrie, he is 100% committed to Clarke.
He said: 'I've had some great times on the tour and I've come to know all the top players over the years and, although some of the guys wanted my help, I'm only interested in working for Darren.
'They're all just normal guys. We often have lunch with Tiger Woods and Ernie Els and we've had some great laughs.
'One time we were at Hilton Head (South Carolina, USA), where they have lots of lakes and countryside. I was walking along with Sergio Garcia when all of a sudden this 13ft alligator appeared from nowhere with a golf ball in its mouth. We didn't know what to do so Sergio whacked it on the head with a golf club and the alligator ran one way and we ran the other. It was a scary moment but it's something we laugh about now.'
When he is not fending off ferocious reptiles with top golfers, Newton spends his time at his first love - the Portal Premier Golf Club Academy in Tarporley.
He admits balancing his role of director of the academy with the pressures of his commitments to Clarke can be demanding but praised Portal chairman Michael Taylor for his support.
He said: 'Michael has been great and at the end of the day our links with the PGA can only be for the good of Portal.'
With the Open reaching a climax on Sunday, Newton is hoping Clarke will still be at the heart of the action.
But despite their close ties, he is not tipping the Irishman for glory.
'I think this is a tournament for the outsider,' said Newton. 'I don't like tip-ping Darren because it is a bit predictable but, hey, I'm no expert on golf so hopefully he will prove me wrong!'