SITE OF NEXT MONTH’s U.S. OPEN, and situated on the millionaires holiday paradise of Long Island, N.Y., Shinnecock Hills Golf Club was constructed in 1891 with the help of the local Shinnecock Indians, and it’s clubhouse was allegedly the first to be constructed in America. It was one of the founding members of the USGA, and hosted the 2nd U.S. Open in 1896, being also the first golf club in America to admit ladies.
The superb course is said to test golfers’ ability to the utmost, with constantly changing wind direction, and requires every club in the bag. Unfortunately ownership of the land is still hotly contested by the Shinnecock Indians, who reckon they were cheated out of it, so players this year should watch out, as the spectators coming over the hill could be waving bows and arrows.
SPEAKING OF STIRRING up the natives, Donald Trump will be lucky to escape a claymore up his kilt the next time he travels to Scotland after banning the brightly coIoured Irn-Bru from his Turnberry resort because the nation’s 2nd favourite drink apparently ‘stains the carpets.’
ARNOLD PALMER’S ONLY U.S. Open victory came in 1960 at Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado. He was thought to be out of contention, commencing the final round 7 strokes behind the leader, but he drove the green on the 346-yard first hole setting up an opening birdie. Arnie shot 65, at that time the lowest round in U.S. Open history, and scored a two-shot victory over an amateur named Jack Nicklaus. His driver is still on view at the club.
THE SHOT CLOCK MASTERS (June 7-10th) in Austria will be the first tournament in professional golf to use a shot clock on every shot as part of the European Tour’s Pace of Play policy, introduced last year. Each player in the 120-man field will have 50 seconds for the first in a group to play any given shot, 40 seconds for subsequent players. A one-shot penalty will be imposed for each transgression, and will be shown as a red card against the player’s name on the leaderboard. Each player can call two ‘time-outs’ per round which permit twice the allotted shot time.
Another new event on the European Tour, the ‘Belgian Knockout’ was hosted by Ryder Cup star rookie Thomas Pieters and held at Rinkven Golf Club, Antwerp, on 17th May. Part of the Race to Dubai, and combining aspects of match and stroke play, the four-day event culminated in a two-man battle over nine holes. European Tour CEO Keith Pelley, fresh from Golf Sixes success, said: “This brand new format expanding the definition of tournament golf is further evidence of our desire to embrace innovation.” No-one could accuse Mr. Pelley of not embracing innovation.
THE LATEST CLIMATE REPORT suggests that higher sea levels could see all of Britain’s historical links courses washed away by 2100. Coastal erosion, rising sea levels and more extreme weather means we will see ‘golf courses crumbling into the sea.’ Oh well, by 2100 they will probably have found a way to solve the problem, and anyway us oldies will be playing on a perfect course by then. Heavenly, in fact.
SPEAKING OF HEAVEN, A pro golfer died and was met at the Pearly Gates. “We’re not quite sure what to do with you,” St. Peter said. “Did you actually do anything that was for the common good?” The golfer pondered for a bit and said, “Once in a hotel parking lot I saw a young woman being tormented by some Hell’s Angels —revving their engines, circling her and calling obscenities. So I got out of my car and went up to the leader. He was much bigger than me, very muscular and covered with tattoos. Well, I bonked this guy on the nose with my 5 iron and I told him and the rest of them they’d better stop bothering this woman or they would get more of the same!”
“Wow, that’s very impressive,” St. Peter replied. “When did this happen?”
“About five minutes ago,” the golfer replied.
Until next time: Happy Golfing.
Contact Mick for your regripping and repairs. 638 859 475.