British Open: It’s Allgood
My favorite golf major once was the U.S. Open. Not so now. I’ve come to love the British Open. The seaside courses are and the weather and the accents and the quaint towns and the history that goes back before even Major League Baseball.
I’ve never watched a U.S. golf tournament and said, boy, I’d love to go there. But every British Open makes me want to go to Scotland or England and walk by the Firth of Clyde or the lighthouses at Turnberry.
I’ll probably never make it to Scotland. I generally stick in the Lower 48. But I love reading the accounts of people who do go. And a friend of mine, John Allgood, long-time general manager of the baseball RedHawks and now executive vice president of the hockey Barons, was at Royal St. George’s last weekend.
He sent me this email, and I thought I would share it.
“Hey, Berry. Enjoyed your blog on Rickie Fowler. I actually went to the British Open on Friday. I met my family in London as part of a week-long trip to Rome and London, and I was very interested in attending the Open. I have to tell you it was a very cool experience.
“Took a train to Sandwich from London. Each stop of the train on the way to Sandwich, more and more fans climbed aboard. As more people joined the train, the conversations became more lively about the golf tournament. I met three gentleman (a son, father and grandfather) from Essex. They were a wealth of knowledge of where the Open had been held in the U.K., who were the champions were in a given year, etc.
“I knew Todd Hamilton (an OU alum; so is Allgood) had won the Open but couldn’t remember the course or the year. They knew immediately. It reminded me of the passion Oklahomans have for college football.
“The event itself was one of simple focus: the golf. There were interactive sections for fans to participate in various golf practices. But for the most part, it was simply about the golf. One large video board for the gallery to follow the action, but very little bombardment of the senses which we see in so many sporting events in the U.S. I realize golf doesn’t lend itself to music and promotions, but the Open really was a refreshing change.
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