Friday, July 15, 2011

Golf and British Open Courses

I can tell you with almost metaphysical certainty where my first complaint this year over the golf course, it’s absurdity, it’s poor design, it’s complete, ridiculous unfairness will occur.  It will be on the 8th green at NGC next week, and it will have taken that long only because next week will be the first rounds of golf I will have played this year.   And I will not be completely wrong.  After all golf is a test of skill and as such attempts to reward good shots and punish bad shots, which at the very least implies a course set up that can distinguish between the two.

And yet the British Open and the courses on which it is held serve as a yearly reminder that I won’t be completely right either, that what constitutes a proper golf hole isn’t quite as clear and straight forward as the modern, American golfer might think.  The typical Open bunker is so deep that the player is quite often forced to play out of them either sideways or away from the hole.  And the route into said bunker may be because your drive has hit the fairway, hit one of the fairway contours and caromed into the bunker where you find yourself without a shot.  Unlucky? Surely.  But unfair, or to be more precise wrong, that is a much more difficult question to answer if you think about it. 

Consider St Andrews and perhaps its most famous hole, the 17th or the Road Hole.  Mind you St. Andrews is hallowed ground, the Mecca of golf.  Good god, Queen Anne, as in Elizabethan England, supposedly swung a club here.  And what does the 17th at St Andrews entail?  Only a drive over the corner of a hotel.  It was I believe Nietzsche (decent player, but not especially long off the tee) who first pointed out that if the most famous hole at the Mecca of golf calls for a drive over a hotel all is permissible

No comments:

Post a Comment