The Open

by Rich on July 24, 2017

There’s something romantic about the game of golf. I don’t mean candlelight dinners and Valentine’s Day romance. I mean the history of the game. The players, the courses, the traditions…there is a certain amount of nostalgia built into the game that creates a certain…well, romance.

This weekend is The Open. The Brits hate it when we uncouth Yanks call it “The British Open”. And I guess they’ve earned that right. They created the game, and nursed it in it’s infancy, until the good ole’ U. S. of A. took it over and decided to dominate it (watch your back, soccer. Once America collectively decides to do something, go ahead and hang it up. See also: the moon and nuclear technology).

I don’t mean that Americans always win everything in golf, but look at the benchmark players of the game over the last 100 years. Thirteen of the top twenty players in the history of golf are American. That’s impressive. A sport that’s been around for 600 years (in it’s modern form) is dominated by a country that’s been around for less than half that time span. But then we Americans are quick studies.

The Barbasol Championship is also being played this weekend. In Alabama. Golf. In Alabama. In July. Ouch. The U.S. has so many good players on it’s tour that the ones not quite ready for prime time slug it out in the southern heat and humidity of central Alabama during the hottest time of the year. That’s how good we’ve gotten.

I do know, by the way, that there will be many international players at both of these events. But let’s face it…just like the SEC drives the bus in college football (much to the chagrin of my Big10, Big12, ACC, and PAC12 friends), the PGA steers the ship when it comes to world golf. Sure, you can make good money on a ton of different tours around the globe, but if you want to make it to The Show, if you want your ticket to The Big Dance, there’s only one route…the PGA of America (again, I get it. There are a ton of PGA groups all over the world, but seriously, nobody is just itching to qualify for the Arse Open, in Arse, Sumatra on the PGA of Indonesia tour. You see my point).

When you think about it, the U.S. is uniquely laid out to showcase the best that golf encompasses. Golf is a game of precision, skill, strength and imagination. It is a game of endurance. The player competes more against the course than other players. They must conquer geography. They must overcome the elements. Have you seen this country? It has everything! Freezing cold, desert heat, smothering humidity, gale force winds, and every other conceivable weather condition. It has hills and mountains and beaches and dunes and cliffs and plains. It has rough outbacks and manicured perfection. You can’t find all of that in all of it’s vastness anywhere else on the planet. And that makes for good golf.

Having said all of that, there is still something incredible about The Open. The history. Watching the game being played in it’s birthplace gives it a certain amount of gravitas just not found anywhere else. And I suppose that’s what makes The Open so popular. It tugs at the heartstrings.

After all, there’s something romantic about the game of golf.

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