I was in sitting in the Uppin Arms the other night with some fellow members of the pub’s golfing society when I mentioned how shameful it was that the Open Championship had never been staged at Royal County Down, which is, in my opinion, the UK’s best links course. Pat the Treasurer’s head came up out of his shot even quicker than it does during his golf swing. “That’s nothing,” he shouted, spitting a couple of quid’s worth of fine single malt down his front. “Kingsbarns is the best damned links course in the country and it’s not on the Open rota, or even scheduled to go on. Take a look at the bloody R&A’s website if you don’t believe me!”
Pat can’t break 100 for love nor money, bless him, but he knows how to breach the peace. His little tirade sparked off Frank Bellamy, who was a scratch player in his youth. “You want to talk about travesties, then start talking about Royal St David’s,” he snarled. “That really is the best golf course in the UK, the finest damned course I’ve ever played and it’s been ignored just cos it’s in Wales… the Scots are just as bad as the English, golfing snobs the lot of ‘em.” Did I mention that Frank is from Wales?
Anyway, what ensued was a very noisy and tumultuous night of debate indeed. Eventually, Pat, who’s a magistrate as well as a golfing know-it-all, called for order by dramatically smashing his whisky glass on the bar. The fool cut his wrist and is now out of our little trip next week to Hayling Island links– a real gem by all accounts.
A vote was duly organised later that evening. I wouldn’t say all the nominated courses were brilliant choices – we were an hour or so into a lock-in by the time it got underway, so you can imagine the atmosphere – but a list of contender courses was eventually whittled down to our “10 of the best courses never to host a Major championship”.
Vote for a course below that you think best deserves a Major Championship. (Some courses from mainland Europe have been included in the hope that a European based Major will one day be on the golfing calendar!)