Open Day

The Open Championship begins today in Scotland (I previewed it here), and Reader Mike S. chimes in with this anecdote:

My friend was a US Naval Flight Officer. He also loved golf.
His aircraft was down for repairs at a Scottish base so they had some unexpected free time.
A Scottish “friend” asked “Care for a round of golf?”
Rather than ask “Where?” he just said, “Sure.”
Up at dawn, a drive, and then… HELL ON EARTH.
He claims the only reason he reached the 18th green was the survival training the Navy gave him.
It was, of course, Carnoustie.

Oh yeah, baby.

Now it must be said that it’s been unseasonably hot Over There of late, and only on Friday is there even a chance of seeing people dressed like this:

Here’s the forecast:

All that said:  if Carnoustie hasn’t had much rain, then the fairways will be hard — really hard.  In fact, one comment was that the fairways will run faster than the greens (which will have been watered).  Now one might think that this helps the golfers;  one would be wrong.  A hard surface is fine — if the surface is flat.  But Carnoustie’s fairways aren’t flat, which means the ball can bounce or run in any direction, e.g. off the fairway completely and into the dense rough or impenetrable gorse.

And so it begins…

5 comments

  1. I heard tell that golf was designed by strict Calvinist to help with the purification of the soul via suffering.

  2. Some years back a lady friend who played semi-pro golf attempted to teach me the game with the result that I had a great deal more success teaching her shooting than she did teaching me golf.

    To this day I cannot set foot on a golf course without lamenting that it’s a waste of 18 perfectly good rifle ranges, and that positioning the bar at the end of the ordeal was integral to whatever popularity the activity may enjoy.

  3. Today’s latest from the Brit press: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/golf/2018/07/20/carnoustie-crowds-adapt-day-two-open-deluge-mediterranean-like/

    And a joke:

    A nun walks into Mother Superior’s office and plunks down into a chair. She lets out a sigh heavy with frustration.

    “What troubles you, Sister?” asked the Mother Superior. “I thought this was the day you spent with your family.”

    “It was,” sighed the Sister. “I went to play golf with my brother. You know I was quite a talented golfer before I devoted my life to Christ.”

    “I seem to recall that,” the Mother Superior agreed. “So I take it your day of recreation was not relaxing?”

    “Far from it,” snorted the Sister, “in fact, I even took the Lord’s name in vain today!”

    “Goodness, Sister!” gasped the Mother Superior, astonished. “You must tell me all about it!”

    “Well, we were on the fifth tee…and this hole is a monster, Mother Superior – 540 yard Par 5, with a nasty dogleg left and a hidden green….and I hit the drive of my life. I creamed it. The sweetest swing I’ve ever made. It’s flying straight and true, right along the line I wanted…and it hits a bird in mid-flight !”

    “Oh my!” commiserated the Mother. “How unfortunate! But surely that didn’t make you blaspheme, Sister!”

    “No, that wasn’t it,” admitted Sister. “While I was still trying to fathom what had happened, this squirrel runs out of the woods, grabs my ball and runs off down the fairway!”

    “Oh, that would have made me blaspheme!” sympathized the Mother.

    “But I didn’t, Mother!” sobbed the Sister. “And I was so proud of myself! And while I was pondering whether this was a sign from God, this hawk swoops out of the sky and grabs the squirrel and flies off, with my ball still clutched in his paws!”

    “So that’s when you cursed,” said the Mother with a knowing smile.

    “Nope, that wasn’t it either,” cried the Sister, anguished, “because as the hawk started to fly out of sight, the squirrel started struggling, and the hawk dropped him right there on the green, and the ball popped out of his paws and rolled to about 18 inches from the cup!”

    Mother Superior sat back in her chair, folded her arms across her chest, fixed the Sister with a baleful stare and said… “You missed the freakin’ putt, didn’t you?”

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