How the R&A works absolutely baffles me. Last Wednesday, out of the blue, Peter Dawson and the lads with the brasso buttons on their blazers decided “Lets announce Troon as the venue for the British Open in 2016”. With a massive groundswell of support to bring a future Open to Portrush and the Irish Open on there next week, it seems like the biggest kick the goolies imaginable for the R&A to time their announcement so badly. That Open is four years away for God’s sakes, why not wait until a month or so after the Irish Open, if you are thinking of letting us down gently?
Peter Dawson, just to dot the “i”s and cross the “t”s it seems to me, went to visit Portrush in January. Afterwards he gave an interview in which he gave three bloody compelling reasons why the Open couldn’t be held at Portrush.
Dawson: “One or two of the holes need changes.”
Ah, okay, so being consistently ranked by just about every reputable golf publication as being amongst the top 15 courses on the planet is not good enough for the R&A. By that logic last year’s Open was not held at Royal St. Georges because 17 or 18 of the holes needed changes.
It’s like Dawson saying that Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull is not suitable because it’s running a hair too much downforce, then picking the Force India midway down the grid.
Dawson: “It is not obvious where the practice ground would go. It is not obvious where the tented village would go.”
What is the man on about here? Watch the Irish Open on Sky this week Peter and it might give you a clue. There WILL be a practice ground and there WILL be a tented village capable of serving a field as big as the Open and a sell out crowd of 100,000. The aerial shot of the course shows oodles of space around the course. But then again Dawson might say “None of these big fields would actually be suitable because they are not the correct shade of green?”
I’m rapidly beginning to figure out what they mean when they say the R&A is an institution. And most of those in it belong in one. One with a big practice ground and tented village.