“Years ago, the Irish Open was played a couple of weeks before The Open at the wonderful Dublin links at Portmarnock but new inland courses, hungry for publicity and legitimacy, offered a better deal to the tour and so one of the very few tournaments on a true links was lost. Now, The Open aside, it is hard to find anything professional played on the courses where the game developed.”
If your life depended on playing well at St.Andrews and you had three weeks to prepare on any other course, which one would you choose? It would be a links course, right?
There is a problem brewing on the professional tour concerning playing The British Open on a links golf course such as St.Andrews. How do they prepare for the Open when no other tournaments are played on links golf courses anymore?
Former Australian professional and now well-known course designer Michael Clayton wrote about the problem this week:
The Scottish Open was once also played on a links golf course and Australians including Craig Parry and Peter O’Malley previously won the tournament. But it is now played at the Loch Lomond Golf Club; a soft, inland tree-lined golf course.
Geoff Ogilvy has noted the problem and withdrawn from the Scottish Open and opted to spend the week practising on links golf courses. He has done this in the past with little effect but maybe this week is his time.
It sounds like the perfect time for a brand new links golf course to be built in Scotland by someone looking for money and publicity, and willing to host a tournament on the eve of the British Open.