This year the British Open is in merry ol’ Scotland – Turnberry to be
precise, and it dredges up a wee bit of pleasant memories, of an old
world, a world in which the King of Pop was still among us, an auld
lang syne, if you will.
The Ailsa course at Turnberry is a beauty, it is. I
remember, as a wee lad, caddying there on the course with no trees…
which was a bit of a problem if a wee lad had to take a wee, but
luckily, plenty of sand traps. Dinnae teach yer Granny to suck eggs! OMG!
My grand-dad’s voice is in my head. Roughly, that last statement was
about “don’t try teaching someone something they already know.” Well,
Grand dad, they didn’t know how deep the traps were in Turnberry!
That’s all I’m saying!
The course is next to the sea. You could call it
Scotland’s Pebble Beach. You can see the Isle of Arran, The Irish Sea
and if you listen closely you can hear the pipes. Gonnae no’ dae that!
Grand-dad, why wouldn’t I do that?! Haud yer wheesht! Be quiet? Why would I be quiet? I’m telling the folks about Turnberry and hearing the pipes. Mony a mickle makes a muckle!
Yeah, I know, if I save a little, soon it becomes a lot. Pences become
pounds, yeah, yeah. Grand dad, what does that have to do with hearing
the pipes at Turnberry? Ah dinnae ken. You don’t know.
You don’t know? You jump in my head in the middle of my column, you
tell me to stop doing it, you ask me to be quiet and then you tell me
save my pennies… and you don’t know why?
Ma heid’s mince.
Your head’s a bit mixed up? I’d think so. You’ve been dead for forty
years. Your head can’t be what it once was… but it’s still in mine. How
is it where you’re at, grandpop? It’s a dreich day! Cold and damp? Not too surprising.
The Ailsa Craig, not to be confused with Roger
Craig, is a rocky dome nine miles out in the Irish Sea to the west of
the first three holes. If the wind is blowing over that dome, those
holes can be rather rough. I’ll gie ye a skelpit lug! Grand dad, I was just getting… why would you give me a slap on the ear? Whit’s fur ye no go by ye! What’s meant to happen will happen? So I’m meant to get a slap on the ear? Haud yer geggie! Shut my mouth? No, I’m writing here. This is my column. People want to know about the open this weekend. A nod’s as guid as a wink tae a blind horse.
Thanks, Grandpop, I’ll keep that in mind. I’ll make my meaning clear.
If YOU’LL let me and, NO, I’m not going to finish writing this wearing
The 9th hole, a par 3, is one of the most beautiful
holes you’ll ever witness. You’re standing fifty yards above the sea,
which is usually choppy, and you’ve got to carry 200 yards of water to
the green. In front of the green are more rocks than we’ll find in Liz
Taylor’s safe. In the background is the Turnberry lighthouse. This is
the type of golf hole the Scots were thinking of when they invented the
game, the kind of hole so frightening, women wouldn’t dare to try it.
When the Scots created their first club with the big sign Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden which later became G.O.L.F. they thought they had a refuge. Choppy, rocky, treeless courses
adds to the men’s only ruggedness. And after all, Scots are manly men, men enough to wear skirts.
From yer geggie est haver! No, grandpop, my mouth does not speak rubbish. Keep
the heid! I’m staying calm. Hell slap it in tae ye! My fault? Why
is it my fault? Cuz I’m not yer grand-dad. Ye never caddied in
Scotland. Yer grand-dad is from Poland and another from Russia. I
dun ken how ye got me in yer heid but yer aff yer heid. Yer a
might bit daft, son!