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Turnberry Decision Denies Us Chance to See Best Course in Open Rotation, Says Paul McGinley | Golf news



Paul McGinley

Golf columnist

“In my opinion the original Ailsa course at Turnberry was right behind Muirfield as the best course among the open venues. Since the redesign I would say he is now the best of the best.

Last updated: 12/01/21 19:23 pm

The R&A have no plans to return the Open to Turnberry 'for the foreseeable future'

The R&A have no plans to return the Open to Turnberry ‘for the foreseeable future’

After the R&A announced that it had no plans to host the Open at Turnberry “for the foreseeable future”, Paul McGinley lamented the continued absence of the best course in the Open Rota.

Recent events in the United States have caused various golf authorities to distance themselves from Donald Trump, and two recent major announcements have highlighted the toxicity of the situation.

The first came from the PGA of America, which severed ties with the Trump organization by confirming that the planned 2022 PGA Championship will be moved from its Bedminster, Virginia route.

And then the R&A said The Open would not return to Turnberry “for the foreseeable future,” without admitting that they would only reconsider if Trump sold the Ayrshire station.

Tom Watson won the first Open held at Turnberry after an epic duel with Jack Nicklaus in 1977

Tom Watson won the first Open held at Turnberry after an epic duel with Jack Nicklaus in 1977

The position of the PGA and the R&A came as no surprise and, while understandable in light of recent events, it clearly indicates that ownership is now an issue “ officially ” for both organizations in the choice of their main championship venues.

From a purely golfing point of view, it is sad that the Open has been, for the foreseeable future, deprived of what I personally believe to be the best course in the rotation.

Turnberry is a place engraved in the minds of many golfers because of its history in producing memorable open championships. The first to be organized there in 1977 was one of the best in Open history, the memorable “Duel in the Sun” between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, whose birdie on the 72nd hole won the second of his five. Open titles.

And, on the Championship’s last open visit to Turnberry in 2009, Watson just needed a peer to create one of the greatest sports stories of all time.

The fact that the Open has only been played there four times does not make the venue any less historic. The Open, and golf as a whole, will be poorer without Turnberry as a major venue for now.

Paul McGinley

Winning a major at the age of 59 was unthinkable and a story that would have transcended golf, and Watson actually had an eight-foot putt to carve his name on the Claret Jug for the sixth time. It didn’t, but it became one of those rare sporting events where sports fans remember the runner-up against future champion Stewart Cink.

In between, Greg Norman finally made his major breakthrough at Turnberry in 1986 after a succession of near misses, and Nick Price held off Jesper Parnevik in another thrilling finish in 1994, a hugely dominant year for the Zimbabwean.

The Ailsa was already a great golf course before renowned architect Martin Ebert oversaw a number of significant recent layout changes – and all for the better.

In my opinion the original design was right behind Muirfield as the best course among the open venues. Since the redesign I’d say it’s now the best of the best.

Tom Watson narrowly missed his Open win at the age of 59, losing to Stewart Cink in 2009

Tom Watson narrowly missed his Open win at the age of 59, losing to Stewart Cink in 2009

The ninth par-four was widely regarded as a disappointing hole, but it’s now a spectacular par-three on the shoreline rocks with the iconic lighthouse forming the perfect backdrop.

I also loved the redesign of the 10th and 11th, and there was little Ebert to change around the 18th, a superb 485 yard stretch of turf framed by the first tee to its right, the magnificent clubhouse on the walls blanks to its left and the sculptural hotel building behind.

Equally memorable are the holes hugging the coastline with Alisa Craig watching over you. On a purely aesthetic level, there aren’t many finer golf courses in the world.

The fact that the Open has only been played there four times does not make the venue any less historic. The Open, and golf as a whole, will be poorer without Turnberry as a major venue for now.

I really hope that over time the circumstances will change as soon as possible and that we can all welcome back to what is a brilliant, historic and beautiful Open course and venue that has given us such a grand and memorable sports theater. .





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