So I’m walking down the 4th at Hoy lake on the final day of The Open championship. The group I have is Brian Harman and Jordan Speith. Harman has just dropped 5 shots and is walking along complaining to Speith about the lack of proper mustard sauce in the U.K. Speith replies with how sneaky we are disguising horse radish as mustard. I’m thinking to myself these guys are just ordinary people. Harman birdied that hole and the next and continued to pull 6 shots back to finish -4 in T26 and bag himself £42,000. If he hadn’t have dropped the 5 shots he would have finished T12 for £92,500. I had to remind myself that while he maybe an ordinary person what he was achieving was far from ordinary.
This was a recurring theme I noticed whilst at the open.
I traveled down to the open with 2 other people from the North East. David Thompson the deputy head green keeper at Hexham GC who has an R&A scholarship and is currently doing his foundation degree in sports turf. He has worked hard to earn this extraordinary position and will continue to do so and become, I have no doubt, an exceptional green keeping mind. The 2nd is Stuart Imeson head green keeper at Dunstanburgh Castle links. He is 23 and has been head green keeper since he was 18. When I was 18 I could just about get myself home safely after a night on the town never mind run a golf course and everything it entails. The Greenkeepers international magazine have written an article on him that you can check out here
Since being appointed headman Stuart along with managing the course has installed new revetted bunkering, an irrigation system to the tee boxes and built a putting green. Wow some people wouldn’t get to do all that in a life time in this industry.
My down time at the open was spent speaking to numerous people that love what they do and because of that they excel at it. I have made many new friends through this experience and I believe the people I have met will help shape our industry in the years to come.
To sum up my Open experience I would have to say it was simply ‘The Best’
The best golf
The best course
The best people
It was a fantastic experience and I urge everyone who can to do it.
I’d like to finish by saying thank you, firstly to John Keenaghan for attempting to drive the bus😂 but more importantly for setting the tone for the week, secondly to all the lads (OiOi) and everyone that made the week so enjoyable and finally and most importantly the BIGGA girls Sandra, Rachel and the 2 Tracey’s and everyone associated with BIGGA. For being on duty from 5am till 11pm, dealing with any issues,organising, looking after 50+ green keepers daily and everything else you have done behind the scenes. Without you goodness knows how the week would turn out.