The British Open Championship

It is great to see a young man from South Africa win this prestigious event.  It reminded me of a trip I made to Scotland and Ireland to play on the British Open Golf Courses.  At the time, or just before, I had achieved a 9 handicap.  Actually the 9 was in my last year at Wiltwyck Country Club in Kingston, N.Y.  This was  2 years before my trip.  I left Kingston in 1984 and Landed in Scotland in September 1986. 

I travelled by myself on this trip and was quite excited when I hit the ground.  But I was weary of travel and the time change and then to get behind the wheel and drive on the wrong side of the road.  Oh my God. 

Here is my scorecard from Carnoustie, a British Open course. 

My Score Card on Carnoustie - 89


I shot 89, which may not seem like a great round, but it was.  My caddy, Richard Johnson (no relation) was a great help.  We laughed a lot, and enjoyed the round together. 

And the really outrageous thing is I was paired up with three guys from Kingston.  It is indeed a small world.  Turns out they played Wiltwyck in the Ulster County Golf Championship and one of the three actually won that event.  I wish today I could recall all the names, but I can’t. 
Here’s a picture of the group.

Small World Three Guys from Kingston

  Here is a picture too of Richard Johnson.  

Richard Johnson, my Caddy Carnoustie 9-11-89


I also played Troon, Turnberry, Darley, Rosemont and Shannon Golf Clubs.  It was great fun, all of them were in the 90 to 92 range.  Playing a links course, just like St. Andrews, the site of the Open this year was a great pleasure and very difficult compared to American Courses.  The conditions were typical Scotland, windy and rain.  Look at how we were dressed and especially the look on Richard Johnson’s face. 

The next year I played a few courses in Ireland on a trip back to Ireland with Cathy.  Cathy does not play golf.  The conditions in Galway were far out.  At one point I hunkered down next to an elevated tee and the rain was moving laterally over my head.  What an experience.  Tommy Burns, the subject of another blog, got me the round on his Club Course, and I played by myself without a caddy, which was not a good idea, as I had no one to spot balls.  But it was still great fun. 

When I got home I hung up the clubs and never played serious golf again.  It is 20 years now.  I’m a goal oriented person.  Playing the British Open courses was goal met.  It was a ‘Now What” moment. 


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