In 1986 or thereby, four of us flew to Malaga for a week’s golf at Sotogrande. We flew from Newcastle and enjoyed the trip down listening to the designated driver’s audio tapes of the Masters tournament of bygone years. I remember one fondly. Fred Couples was leading in the final round by a couple of shots when he hit his ball into the stream at Amen Corner. The commentator asked ‘I wonder what’s going through his mind right now’. There followed a very audible and heartfelt ‘Oh F—!’ from the boy Fred.
Not the best though. At one point, one American commentator referred to the ‘British Open’. At which, the other Yank cried ‘Don’t call it that. We’ll get all those letters from that Colonel guy in England again. We know it’s the Open.’
Totally correct, of course. As we all know, there are four golf majors – the US Masters, the US Open, the USPGA and. primus inter pares, the Open. It’s just like the stamps. We thought of it first so we don’t have to call it the British Open just as we don’t have to put the name of our country on said stamps.
The Open was held in Scotland for the first 30 years or so until it went to Royal St George’s in 1894. Only ever played on 14 courses in its history. I’m lucky enough to have had at least one round on 11 of them, by the way.
Anyhow, what happens if we vote for ‘Freedom’ and sign out of Britain? In all logic, how can they continue to hold the ‘British’ Open on golf courses which are no longer British? I realise that Sleekit and the deluded will yammer on about scare-mongering and assert that our rUK chums will still allow us to carry on as usual because we’ll all still be ‘British’ by virtue of living in the British isles. Doesn’t work for the Irish in the Republic and I don’t see how it should work for us.
I trust that the organising body of the Open, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, will do the decent thing and pass control of the event to the rUK. Or secede from Salmondland.