Summer of Golf Provides Sunshine in the Gloom

Sports and marketing. The curse of the modern era. The English Premiership is the “Greatest Show on Earth!” Lewis Hamilton is the “British Tiger Woods.” So it was inevitable that the last month would be Scotland’s “Summer of Golf!”

No matter that any use of the word “summer” is somewhat ironic with the weather pretty much remaining the meteorological equivalent of a slap in the face with a wet fish. Or that every season in the – marketing lingo again – “home of golf” is dominated by the game.

But let’s forgive the gurus at Visit Scotland. Because the golf, unlike the weather, has been unforgettable.

If we could write our own scripts? Well, we can’t – and please allow me a bit of US bashing here – but it’s gone the way a lot of us would have liked to imagine it if we were in the business of penning romantic fantasies.

First Loch Lomond. Gregory Havret, not even a household name in his own chateau, stares down the great Mickelson on the bonny banks and beats him at the death. How he deserved to drink the champagne that was poured over him on the final green.

Then Carnoustie, the course rehabilitated in the eyes of the golfing world, and another play-off. This one even more special:it’s two Europeans. Irish eyes are smiling, Spanish eyes are crying but the Europeans are coming.

Then down the east coast. Muirfield, and this time the US roars back. But Tom Watson is a legend in these parts anyway. Almost an honorary Scot in fact.

And now we are back over the Forth Bridge, our summer of golf apparently as endless as the task of painting that Victorian wonder, for the Women’s Open. Played for the first time at the most famous links in the world.

Early reports suggest we’re in for a cracker. The players seem to be drinking in the history, the atmosphere of St Andrews firing them up to give Scotland’s glorious golfing extravaganza the perfect send off.

And when it is finally all over, all we will be able to say is “thank you and haste ye back.”

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