Open Rota A Study In Fairness Or Yet Another English Plot?

The clubhouses at Royal St George’s and Royal Lytham have no doubt been deafening dens of clinking sherry glasses and stiff upper lipped “here, here’s” this week.

But amid the madcap celebrations of their confirmation on the Open rota in 2011 and 2012 the good members of those to esteemed golfing institutions may well have heard other, more disconcerting, sounds.

For the wailing and gnashing of teeth that has been going in Scotland must surely have carried over the border and all the way through England.

The home of golf is a strange country. The former Scottish Executive’s mantra was “the best small country in the world.” Good aye, but only in our rightful place. For all the modernity of a parliament building and the apparent confidence of giving the “English” government a bloody nose by voting for the SNP, Scotland is a country with a fragile view of itself.

The consternation this week has centred around England being allowed to host the Open twice in a row. The sheer devilment of the Sassenachs! Jings, crivvens, help ma boab! Like the Stone of Destiny, golf is ours. And now the English bullies want to steal it.

The reaction in some quarters, the resort to hysteria and the repeated wailing of Scotland’s unofficial national motto, “it’s no fair,” is a more a revealing insight into Scotland’s haphazard attempts to shake off the embittered victim status of its national psyche than it is of an English plot to steal our crown jewels.

We know that every five years the Open will be played at St Andrews. We know that there are eight other courses, each of them displaying their own particular traits of genius, that will at some stage host the event.

The beauty of the Open is how the rota works: the R&A work on, apparently, a completely ad hoc basis. And yet they somehow retain their meticulous sense of fair

An English Open in 2011 and 2012 will be followed, sure as haggis comes with neeps and tatties, by a Scottish Open in 2013. There is no big deal. The R&A have been mindful of other events in making their choices: St George’s was pencilled in for 2012 but the Olympic Games in London that year make that impossible. Golf enjoys too few moments in the sun to allow it be overshadowed by “the greatest show on earth.”

So Scotland will have to make do with St Andrews in 2010 and 2015 and possibly Muirfield in 2013. It’s not a bad return for a wee country, is it?

And 2014? Well, we know that Scotland will host the Ryder Cup that year. And it seems likely that we’ll also snare the Commenwealth Games. The sporting calendar will not allow for the Open as well.

The solution? Quite simple really. Portrush is crying out for a Northern Ireland Open!

2 Responses to “Open Rota A Study In Fairness Or Yet Another English Plot?”

  1. Roger Pelletier says:

    Interesting to know how the rotation works for The Open. Hope Scotland gets its fair share of Opens.

    Like this type of information coming my way in Calgary, Alberta, Canada as we are not exposed very much of happenings from Europe here, other than by The Golf Channel produced and directed by the Americans.

  2. Brian J Dickenson says:

    Scotland the home of golf?
    What about the claim by the Netherlands that it was invented there?


Leave a Reply