Tuesday, August 28

Divots Eloquence at Royal Birkdale

Point made, but not nearly as poetic as the message that once graced a clubhouse wall at Royal Birkdale.

ROYAL BIRKDALE GOLF CLUB, WHICH WILL HOST the Senior Open Championship next year and the Ricoh Women’s Open in 2014, has been in existence since 1889. The storied links course in Southport, England, has held the (British) Amateur, the Curtis Cup, the Walker Cup, the Women’s Open, and the Open (British Open for us Yanks) eight times, if I counted correctly.

The course took its modern shape last century under the supervision of Hawtree and JH Taylor Ltd., a formidable duo. Hawtree was a well-respected golf course architect; Taylor was a five-time Open champion. They intelligently routed Birkdale’s 18 holes through the narrow valleys formed in and around the area’s many sand hills. The familiar white clubhouse opened in 1935.

Yet, as I was reading earlier today about Birkdale’s history, a message to golfers hung on one of the walls of the former clubhouse:

“As the earth is not meant to be carted away, the divots you cut in the course of your play should be neatly replaced by your caddie or you, with their roots to the earth and their blades to the blue.”

That might just be the most eloquent reminder to REPLACE DIVOTS in the history of the game.

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