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!