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« The Scotsman On Old Course Tampering: "Old Tom Morris will be turning in his grave" | Main | The R&A's Changes To St. Andrews That Were Not Approved »
Monday
Nov262012

Old Course Joins Twitter, Gets #savetheoldcourse Hashtag, UK Press Slowly Begins To Notice

I know it's a bigger story to those outside the United States. After all, this is the same town that approved putting up a chest of drawers (Longhurst) next to the Road hole. So expecting architectural sensitivity may be a lot to ask.

Still, it's nice to see the altering of the Old Course at St. Andrews getting attention from some press and in social media.

The Daily Mail's Derek Lawrenson writes that "It has to be said, some of the planned amendments sound positively radical," then declares, "Let’s go easy on the outrage, however, and have a little faith in the two bodies in question. After all, they have more to lose than anyone."

Got that?

The Scotsman's Martin Dempster acknowledges Tom Doak's petition to stop the work.

It's hard to tell what Philip Reid of the Irish Times thinks, but to anyone who knows the game and the R&A's public stance on scoring, this is an indictment:

...it would seem the RA, governors of the game and responsible for staging the British Open, aren’t immune from phobias of their own and the fear of low scoring – whisper it, the possibility of a 59 – is seen as the main reasoning behind plans to toughen up the Old Course in time for its next hosting of golf’s oldest Major championship.

Tom Dunne tweeted the scoring averages from the last Open Championship at St. Andrews where 73.0665 was the number for the week. As for key holes receiving new bunkers to "stiffen the defences" as the R&A's Peter Dawson put it, the second, fourth and sixth all average well over par. The Road played the toughest for the week at 4.6631 yet is already under attack just days after the announced changes.

Meanwhile, The Old Course is on Twitter now. Give her a follow.

There is a nice list of Tweets developing with the #savetheoldcourse hastag.

On change.org, Emile Bonfiglio has started a petition to halt the work.

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Reader Comments (19)

What's the long-term plan, an invasion? Obviously we can't be trusted to run our own courses and protect our own heritage anymore.
11.27.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Scott
As far as I'm concerned, it is much ado about nothing. Nothing wrong with making (reversible) changes to a golf course. Even if it is The Old Course or Augusta National. Purists who regard these courses as holy grails, remind me of the people who say that old music should only be performed on old instruments. If you think The Old Course is sacred, play it with hickory shafts and a gutta percha ball. Speaking of which: don't attack Mr. Dawson on this issue, but on the fact that he and his friends of the USGA are afraid to deal with the club and ball manufacturers on putting a stop to technology destroying the game.
11.27.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartin
I can't get worked up either way on this. I would leave it alone, but Martin makes some good points, it is not like they haven't made changes there before. At what exact point was it the Mona Lisa, because they have been painting mustaches and nose rings on the Old Course for years....
It became the Mona Lisa when the ability to communicate instantly, as we are doing, became a reality.

Who is to say nose rings, etc, would have made their way onto TOC had this form of protest been available. And yet this ''protest'' is meaningless without action.
11.27.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
@Steve Scot the difficulty in applying tags like 'us' and 'them' is where to draw the circle. If St Andrews truly is 'the home of golf' then shouldn't all golfers and their opinions be welcomed there? Are we not all dogged victims of inexorable fate? Citizens united?

It is a sad state of affairs if St Andreans degrade themselves to taking 'our' money for 'their' courses. The 'home of golf' should not lock its doors!
11.27.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark Bourgeois
What Mark said.

And no Steve, based on the Castle Course, the Old Course hotel and now this, it's pretty apparent that there is a self-destructive streak in that town.
11.27.2012 | Registered CommenterGeoff
@Steve-I'm assuming you are the Steve Scott who writes in the Courier-and if you are nice article today.Some balance amongst the hysteria!
I'm not happy that they feel they have to make the changes-but what is being suggested is hardly a major overhaul.I wouls leave 11 alone however.
I hope and pray that there will be no more alterations for years to come and if that is the case then they have my qualified approval
The Old Course’s Lament
©2012 digsouth

A paradise of grass and sand
Where gale winds called the scoring
But when light tides rolled softly in
Easy seemed so alluring.

So from the minds of mindless charges
The wheels of change were baking
And pride for gloating
Made poor decisions
There for the mindless taking.

Mother Nature, She knows-we know
But still we know what’s better
When we can do with diesel tools
What time carved to the letter.

And so it rolls and so we roll
Because so few rule the call
But just remember when you do it again
All you had to fix was the ball.



permission for reprinting with credits shown
11.27.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
"don't attack Mr. Dawson on this issue, but on the fact that he and his friends of the USGA are afraid to deal with the club and ball manufacturers on putting a stop to technology destroying the game."

For 99.99% of golfer, the game is still very difficult and they make up the overwhelming majority of whether the game is "destoyed" or not. At the local muni that is all of 5500 yards...trust me, even though their course would be a joke to the modern professional, the game of golf is VERY healthy with those who play there.
11.27.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve
That's sort of "my kids daubs are on the wall at school and are very pretty, so why do we need a Louvre?"
11.27.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
Steve Scott,
Looks like you need to turn your misery on Martin Dempster! Is he an arrogant, idiot too now?
11.27.2012 | Registered CommenterGeoff
No Geoff-he is not an arrogant idiot-he is a very good writer.
But surely people are allowed to have differing opinions?
My father always taught me that it was fine to disagree with people but there was no need to be disagreeable.I think thats a good principle.
11.27.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchico
@ Digger-great poem-made me chuckle!
11.27.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchico
The new tee on No.17 is a nose ring if I ever saw one!
11.27.2012 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
Chico,
Perhaps you missed Steve Scott's insult to Geoff in a post on the previous thread.

There is simply no right in what is going on right now. This isn't about opinion, its about stupidity. You can lump Ron Whitten in that group. (He should just retire)
11.27.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Strangelove
chico,
Myself and others here were labeled arrogant and idiotic by one of your countrymen, Mr. Scott. But thanks for the insight.
11.27.2012 | Registered CommenterGeoff
Sorry Geoff-didn't see that-no need for that.
But I do think he's entitled to his opinion-so long as he puts it reasonably!
11.27.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchico
Ron Whitten = Judas goat.
11.27.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark Bourgeois
Why do people keep telling that golf should be easy to be enjoyable? Who says that weekend golfers need monstrous drivers, balls that fly miles and belly putters to keep them attracted to the sport? When I took up golf 35 years ago, we used blades, woods that were actually made out of wood (hard to believe these days), Dunlop 65 balls or an occasional Titleist Balata when we were lucky enough to find one. I was and still am a pretty mediocre player, but I enjoyed golf in these days as much as I do today.
The difficulty of the game and the fact that there is a level playing field (the same rules apply to all golfers, whether you are Rory McIlroy or a hacker on a 5500 yards muni) are fundamental to golf. So let's get rid of balls that are ridiculously long and straight, putters anchored to other parts of the body than the hands and clubs made out of materials meant for space industry.
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

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