Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The R&A, What Were You Thinking?

Wow, what a week for the purists amongst us. The powers that be at The Old Course, namely the St Andrews Links Trust and the R&A have seen fit to make one of the worst decisions ever in golf by digging up the hallowed turf on a number of holes, including the 17th (above). And for absolutely no good reason. I'm sure Old Tom is spinning in his grave. The way that they handled the matter is also a joke. By announcing the decision to "improve" TOC last Friday (following Thanksgiving Day in the USA) it was the ultimate way to "bury the lede." By the time the news wires picked up on the story on Monday, Mr. Hawtree and his ditch diggers were hard at work attempting to "improve" on one of the greatest golf courses in the world. How on earth they could think that increasing the size of the road hole bunker would improve the hole remains to be seen, and it's another example of the R&A running rough shod over the game. They have managed for years to ignore the fact that the golf ball was getting longer and longer and destroying classic golf courses and now they see fit to add to their incompetence by messing with the most famous golf course in the world. I was at TOC in June this year with seven friends all of whom were in awe of the town and the finest public golf course in the world. Golf architects around the world, who know considerably more about these things than I do, are outraged and have made their voices heard. The most vocal is renowned designer, Tom Doak, but sadly it seems to be too late to stop the insane "reshaping." It is indeed a sad day for the Old Grey Toon.