Tuesday, June 8

Guest Column: 'Which Is the Greatest Major?'

By Keith McLaren

Keith McLaren is a 59-year-old fanatical golfer living in St Andrews. He writes about golf at The Kilted Caddie.

THIS IS THE BIG QUESTION in golf of course and one likely to elicit many interesting responses.

Keith McLaren
The choice is between The Open (British obviously!) and the Masters. And at heart it's a tricky one given the monumental stature of both tournaments in the world of golf. They are both colossal but very different. The Open is mainly played over the old-style links course, while the Masters is only ever played at the incredible Augusta National in Georgia, USA.

So it's a bit of a choice of rough or smooth, old versus new, tweedy traditional taking on the silky modern, the Dad's Army of antiquary up against the vanguard of the American dream. And so I suppose at the final call it's what rocks your boat.

For me it's a no brainer though. That green jacket does it, I'm afraid. The green jacket ceremony and all. And you get to keep it! It's actually tasteful, too. None of your usual garish or dull golfing gear. It's a lovely green. And I expect it's worth a good few bucks as well.

But it's all the rest of the ceremony that is the Masters that I kind of love. You know, the black-tie dinners, the old timers driving-off, the family thing, the nine-hole comp, the pitch-perfect azaleas and all that palatial Macy's window sill stuff. It's a golfers dreamland. I mean Sandy Lyle has been pitching up and playing some very fine golf for the last hundred years. It's quite amazing, to be honest.

Even the journalists are put up five-star style and are treated to bisquit de boeuf, steak tartare, pimento cheese and Crozes Hermitage all week. Not that bad a gig.

However, I don't think I'll ever get there, unfortunately. In any capacity.

I'm far too much of a hacker for one. And as a possible hack? Hmm.

Odds on I'd end up in the caddy shack.

More about Keith McLaren:

"Played on Old twice yesterday!" he told me recently in an email.

"I went to University here in 1980 to 1984, played on the golf team and played at Economics. I have had an eclectic career path to say the least. Finance, school teaching, ski teaching, golf teaching, golf tour operator, kind of writer, ski tour business, insurance, wine sales, florist, cafe and restaurant owner.

"I was pretty bad at most things.

"I am now attempting a standup comic career before I retire!


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Keith McLaren said...

Sorry but I never plugged my blog! the kilted caddie. Silly old me.

Keith McLaren said...

Sorry but I never plugged my blog! the kilted caddie. Silly old me.