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Thursday
Nov292012

Peter Dawson In 2002 On Changing The Old Course: "It's a bit like drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa" 

#savetheoldcourse Tweeter Jim Colton posted this excerpt from an October 11, 2002 Golf World story by John Huggan, quoting R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson about new tees at the Old Course in advance of the 2005 Open. Ah how just adding a few yards to the place seems so quaint by today's standards!

"Anyone who knows and loves St. Andrews, as most golfers do, is obviously reluctant to make changes," Peter Dawson, secretary of the R&A, told Golf World in an interview last week during the Dunhill Links Championship. "It's a bit like drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa, but the last tee changes have been accepted and are now part of the course."

Ah how times have changed!

In other Old Course news, the Scotsman says the European Institute of Golf Course Architects will be polling their members about the notion of modifying the design Bible of golf.

“In the last few days there has been much debate within the golf industry about the improvements being carried out to strengthen the Old Course for the world’s top golfers,” said EIGCA president Rainer Preissmann. “It has demonstrated some strong feelings. Because we represent over 115 members, each with differing views, the EIGCA do not have an official position. We have therefore polled our members to understand the spread of opinions within the EIGCA.”

The questionnaire will not relate specifically to the current work but will ask about the broader principles of alterations being carried out on the historic Old Course. The result of the poll will be published next week.

Old Course co-modifier Martin Hawtree is an EIGCA member. Peter Dawson is not.

Meanwhile the petition to save the Old Course is at 455 as of this post. There are some wonderful comments too. But people, that needs to get to 1000 asap!

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Reader Comments (3)

Peter Dawson was against changing the Old Course before he was for it.
11.29.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavidC
The Classic New Peter Dawson Course at Fife. Soon, he will be knighted (for that one brilliant week at Turnberry in 1975?). Nay.

What? He is not a dour scot? A humble servant of golf helping to stage championships, publish rulings, assess the legitimacy ad conformance of new equipment, and grow the game commercially and environmentally sustainably, oh and best management practices for all aspects of golf course management?

What does the Royal and Ancient Golf Club have to say about the changes? These changes are to PUBLIC LAND? What right does an organization created in 2004 have to change TOC? What was the impetus for separating from golf club and founding the R and A in 2004? their website claims that they are distinct from the R and A golf club and based at the #world's home of golf, but really is completely ambiguous about what they do distinctly (I know, I described in the preceding paragraph), instead riding the coattails of the history of the R and A Golf Club.


the only legit reason they could have for the changes is for preparing the championship. A responsible golf course architect designs for the greatest good for the greatest number. You are not complying with this canon if you are making changes to the worlds home of golf (where all are welcome?) for only a couple hundred people. Try building some cop bunkers or a low wall traversing the fairway at 295 from the tee.

Who gives these guys their charter anyway?


Speaking of 'natural', that rock 'outcrop' the 7th at Sherwood is not an outcrop, someone dumped that boulder there, which was a by product of excavating for the residential pads. Same with rocks on the left side of that green and the boulders on the next tee.
AMac taught us lessons of the pro player-architect. The only good one being James Taylor. The rest designing penal holes that suited ther style of play . Nicklaus with rocks and trees in the middle of fairways/on the greens, waterfalls on the 15th and 18th, but finally designing a hole with a tee shot and approach that didn't favor his high cut. It only took 23 years to get the 14th at Sherwood, which rewards a power draw off the tee and a draw to the back pin. And now, we have budding player/modifier Peter Dawson. Trees and cart path?
11.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterUbb
How about this Peter Dawson quote in the 2002 article:

"A couple of them are slightly controversial in that they involve encroaching onto adjacent courses, so I don't want to name them all."

Guess we shouldn't be asking a tiger to change his stripes, as far as being open with the public.
11.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark B

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