Busy Season

“the old pro gets a lesson from the older pro”]the old pro gets a lesson from the older pro[/caption]

Carolyn wins champagne from Sam Torrance

Carolyn wins champagne from Sam Torrance

The picture of Old Tom Morris is actually actor/writer David Joy who does many Titleist ads and is available to speak to groups about almost any topic to do with golf, he is fantastic, and a member of the Thursday Club.

It has become quite a busy season – not as many North American golfers as usual, but the ones who are coming are of a nice “quality”, good people enjoying the courses with fewer players. Even the Old Course ballot is available most days, very few disappointments. Last week I went into the ballot with three guests and asked for a time between 12:30 and 1:00. Amazingly we got 12:40! My 3 South African guests were impressed, so was I!
Our Torrance course opened July 13th and we are geting great response about the new bunkers, great greens, superb fairways, and rough rough. We will cut it back after the Scottish Senior Open next week, in the meantime we recommend calling “Fescue 911”. It was nice to have Jay and Linda Lilge staying with us in July, they helped open the Torrance and we got to play a few of the local courses, including Panmure near Carnoustie. They liked the Old Course and also played the New a couple times as well. Of course they had to say the Torrance was in the best condition of all. On the opening day Jay got to play with our owners and Linda played with Carolyn and Malcolm Campbell who is my favourite Scottish golf writer and is presently working on a book about the real links courses worldwide (with George Peper).
Jay and I also got to play Muirfield on my birthday, July 10th. We played with friend James Smith and member Douglas Kinloch Anderson (his company supplies the Queen’s kilts). Muirfield is an experience unlike any other in golf, from the time you find the parking to the time you leave it is brilliant, golf at its best. We played the first 18 as a foursome, that’s a two ball foursome in Canada, alternate shots. Just about three hours for the first 18, then a quick two hour lunch (jacket and tie), then another 18 holes, same format, alternate shots. No one can play four balls, the only way you can have more than two balls in play is if you play later. I asked Jay if he thinks Donalda would ever tolerate alternate shots as a regularway to play and he doubted it. We loved it, six hours of golf and the most famous lunch in golf – I see why Jack Nicklaus is so proud of his Muirfield Village in Ohio.
Jay and I also got invited to the Renaissance Cup tourney, Tom Doak’s Invitational at his new Renaissance Club course which is next door to Muirfield. Tom is the hottest designer in golf right now (he’s working!) and his course is pretty good, very interesting because of the location. More on the course later.
Next week we host the Scottish Senior Open so it’s pretty hectic getting ready – interestingly Cleveland Srixon are the main sponsor and they are having a couple pro ams early in the week with their major clients and their staff pros. By the time we get to the main event on Friday we’ll have everything under control. I’m cheering for Sam Torrance to win on the course named after him – how can he lose?

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Gary Slatter

Venerable Canadian golf pro Gary Slatter discusses his opinions on the state of golf, golf course design and construction, teaching and more, based on a lifetime in the business.

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