Peter McEvoy, the former Walker Cup captain, does not exonerate himself from blame when he accuses amateur officialdom in the UK of "negligence."
Though he believes that the golf on offer to the elite squads in GB and Ireland is nowadays on a par with that at an American university, he worries that there is no educational process going hand in hand with the sport. "Negligence," said McEvoy, "is not too strong a word in that we are requiring people to play full-time in the knowledge that there isn't room for them all to make a living. We're helping to eliminate everything else from their lives."
McEvoy points to how more and more youngsters are seeing the elite programmes as an option to university in that they can sign on for a single year. In contrast, someone like the 22-year-old Rhys Davies, who was playing in the Walker Cup at the weekend, will have spent four years at his American college.
McEvoy feels duty-bound to remind these young men that they are taking a risk. "What," he asks, "will they do with themselves if they pick up an injury or lose interest?"
A golfer may or may not have what is termed the ‘architectonic sense’ very highly developed so far as the courses he plays on are concerned. He may be partially blind to the strategic influences that threaten him and have a stronger inclination to specialize in the technicalities that claim his greater interest. But there may be others who prefer to receive impressions as they come with irrelevant swiftness, who delight more in the spirit than in the precise letter of the game. TOM SIMPSON