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Golf: The Need for Luck on Links

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Contributor:
Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

 “I hate to use the word,” said Colin Montgomerie, who grew up playing at Royal Troon in Scotland, “but luck is involved, yes.” That’s from Adam Schupak’s ‘Links Golf Rewards the Good (and Lucky)’

Welcome to links golf

Adam writes, ‘In 2008, the last time the British Open was held at Royal Birkdale, Brandt Snedeker was a rookie at golf’s oldest championship.
He climbed out of bed the morning of the second round, peeked outside and soon discovered that Birkdale had rolled its shoulders and stirred awake, too — the wind was whipping, the rain fell sideways and the temperature was no more than 45 degrees…He limped home that day after shooting a 79.’

Moonscapes with grass

For his NYT readers unfamiliar with the best of what Britain has to offer, Adam writes, ‘Links courses typically resemble a moonscape with grass, where an unpleasant combination of howling winds, blind holes, mounded landing areas and quirky bounces awaits. It is where a different type of golf is played, and where a different type of temperament is needed for the heather and gorse and the pot bunkers deep enough for a flock of sheep to take cover.’

Tom Watson changes his mind

Sounding very much like Bobby Jones who hated St Andrews the first time round, Adam quotes Tom Watson.
'Tom Watson was a reluctant convert to links golf, despite winning in a playoff at Carnoustie in Scotland in 1975 in his British Open debut.
“I played St. Andrews in 1978, and I did not like it,” he said. “I preferred American-style target golf. But I started to change my mind in 1979, and now I love links golf. I like going to places where you are required to use other tools in the tool chest, rather than just throw-it-up-on-the-table golf.”

A few words from Feherty
“It’s the purest form of golf,” said David Feherty, who won the Scottish Open in 1986 and is now a golf commentator for NBC Sports and the Golf Channel who also says “It’s still target golf, but the target sort of moves. It could be 50 yards short of where you want your ball to end up, and you have to read what the ground is going to do.”

Link to Adam

Quote of the Day
“I’ve always hoped that the last day of golf I play before I die will be 36 holes on the links of Scotland.” – Tom Watson

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