A QUESTION OF WHOSE OPEN
I have been very quiet lately on the blogging front. Been engrossed in keeping my head down in true golfer’s fashion but not because I have been out on the course. No, I am currently "time poor" and golf is just not happening.
There’s been the little matter of my son’s wedding to distract me and the preparation has involved the hunt for a killer MOG (for the uninitiated: Mother of the Groom) outfit to wear on the day. “Killer” does not have any bearing on my relationship with my future daughter-in-law. I am fortunate in that I gain an extra daughter but when your only son gets married, it is incumbent on the MOG to look drop dead gorgeous. I intend to - having spent the best part of a sum the size of a house deposit on the outfit. There’s also the other little matter of the Hen Do to prepare for - hence no golf.
But now I am back and I have something to say about golf. In fact, it’s a bit of a gripe. The Open: it is almost upon us. That’ll be THE Open. It does not need an appendage adjective to describe or prefix it. It is not The British Open or The UK Open or The Great Britain Open.
Like Wimbledon and The Masters, it stands alone.
No qualifier needed.
The Open is the first; it is iconic; it is the prototype and stereotype; it is sacrosanct. Since the 17 October, 1860 at Prestwick, Scotland, it has been just that. All else is follow-on, copy, or replica. Most importantly, it is this side of the pond and we love it. And we love its name, undiluted and unadulterated.
Say after me: The Open. Well done. Now go to the top of the class. You can add prefixes and suffixes ad infinitum to anything you like under the sun but leave those two words alone when you refer to what happens with a certain Claret Jug in this part of my back yard but once a year.
Now I take the Fifth Amendment before I make the next statement. A straw poll vote tells me that Uncle Sam might just be the greatest offender. You stole our football and gave it back to us as soccer. You stole our Open and gave it back to us as The British Open. Lehman Brothers stole our money but come to think about it, they still haven’t given it back. Will they ever? Will they heck as like!
But we have not complained. The British stiff upper lip has taken the slight on the chin in bulldog style but as I’m neither stiff, upper, British, or gifted with a chiselled chin – but most certainly lippy - I thought I would put it out there for comment. Hit me with it. Am I the new Luddite in golf or do I have a creditable point?
I have just noted the greatest offender on Twitter and I am calling you out: no less than the PGA.com with a whole schedule of tee times, television viewing and live stream links for the British Open. Well, hay-de-hum, I wonder when that little old thingy tourney, The American Masters, will play.
Answers on a postcard please. I have no time for reading long spiels.