Jack Requested That We Don't Refer to it as His…

There are a couple of interesting stories stemming from this past week’s European Tour event. First Darren Clarke went off on the use of the Centenary Course at Gleneagles as the host site for the 2014 Ryder Cup.

“It’s unbelievable they chose to stage the event in 2014 on this course. There are unbelievable courses in Scotland, not least of which are the two others here at Gleneagles – The Kings and The Queens. So it’s beyond my comprehension they’ve chosen to play the Ryder Cup on this course. Scotland is the home of golf and whoever competes in the Ryder Cup here in 2014 is going to be playing on an American-style golf course in Scotland.”

That was met with some backlash as European PGA officials tried to explain why the Ryder Cup was heading to an average American-style golf course. Actually they didn’t do that as much as say that the Kings and Queens were simply too short. Of course no explanation was given for why the event didn’t go to Turnberry, or Kingsbarns, or Carnoustie, or … you get the picture.

Next up came some discussion over the changes to Jack Nicklaus’ Gleneagles course. Turns out The Golden Bear turned into a grizzly bear when it came to hiring Scottish designer David McLay Kidd to rework his course for the Ryder Cup. Jack was so pissed that he asked to have his name removed from the design. Interestingly, Nicklaus contracts allow for just this occurance.

“Jack requested that and we don’t refer to it as his,” said Peter Lederer, managing director of Gleneagles.”Personally, I think it’s a missed opportunity for him with a Ryder Cup coming here in 2014. We would have liked him to continue to feel part of it. But if he doesn’t want that, it’s up to him. We chose David [to revise the course] because he’s local and had an understanding of the changes we needed as a business. I don’t think that takes away from what Nicklaus did, though, because he shaped something special.”

Some special indeed.

The Clarke story is here, while the follow up can be found here.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • In the local BUNKERED, a very good golf magazine in Scotland, their Nicklaus interview said all Jack wanted was a letter to say they were doing renovations so he could OK them, they did not write the letter and he has taken his name off. I wonder if they’ll recall the 5-pound note with his picture on it.
    There are many better courses to host the event, the K-Club, the Belfrey and the PGA Course are not UK-style courses. Of course they are built to handle crowd$.

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