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Tuesday: Carnoustie and the BIGGA Central Scotland meeting

Peter McCormick


On Tuesday eight members of our group stayed in St. Andrews as they had been drawn from the ballot to play the Old Course. The remaining ten of us rode about 45 minutes to Carnoustie Golf Links, which will host The Open Championship in July 2018. We were anxious to hear about the plans for the course and the event from our hosts Sandy Reid and Craig Boath.



Craig Boath (foreground, holding Claret Jug) and Sandy Reid (right in blue sweater) explain some of the projects on the Championship Course in preparation  for hosting of  the 147th Open Championship in July 2018.


The Championship Course was closed for the week for maintenance but we could see plenty of it (and the work being done) as we played Carnoustie's Burnside Course.


As a special part of our visit to Carnoustie they made a rare exception and took their Claret Jug out of the display case for some photo opportunities. I suggested to Craig Boath that the "buy in" for having your photo taken with the Claret Jug was a donation to the BIGGA Benevolent Fund. We raised 150£ or approximately $200 to help UK greenkeepers in need.



The inimitable John Brauer (Sandtrapper, Flexxcape) with the Claret Jug.


The Burnside Course was a fun day on a relatively flat, shorter course. Many in our group commented that it was a perfect fit after two or three days of playing in St. Andrews.


Doug Middleton of Ocean Organics hosted a light lunch in the historic Carnoustie Golf Club after the round. The club dates to 1842.



Doug Middleton hosted lunch at the historic Carnoustie Golf Club - established in 1842.


On our way back from Carnoustie we stopped at Elmwood College for the BIGGA Central Scotland chapter education meeting. The meeting was arranged by Gordon Moir of St. Andrews Links. After my brief introduction to TurfNet, Michigan States Kevin Frank gave a presentation on Technology and Golf Maintenance.

It was an honor sharing the stage with Kevin and great fun meeting other local superintendents. We look forward to longer visits with them at the BTME conference at Harrogate, England, in January. 





The combined TurfNet/BIGGA Central Scotland Chapter meeting.



Kevin Frank presenting on Technology and Golf Course Maintenance.


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Guest Eric Shiel


Love to see turfnet members taking an interest in Carnoustie. My father Tom Shiel, the 1990s Green's convener for Carnoustie Links Management Committee and 2x pro at Panmure G.C. was instrumental in hiring and working with John Philip, an amazing superintendent. Those two men were highly instrumental in getting Carnoustie back on the championship rotation. Unfortunately Tom passed away in 2015 and can only watch the open from heaven. Tom a lifelong, old school Scottish golf professional suffered a life threatening stroke April 1st here in Virginia USA playing golf alone at age 87 and passed away April 9th and through amazing circumstances was celebrated April 18th 2015. Does this signify our higher power is watching us?

That dedicated, beautiful swinging old school Scottish golf professional went 1,9 & 18 when leaving his mortal body! God bless Carnoustie, a PRICELESS course that my father loved with all his heart and soul and helped keep it alive with his own hands and professional determination in the 1940s and again in the 1990s I wish I was financially able to go to Scotland during the 2017 open but was recently forced out of my equipment manager job during a course management company change over at the Golden Horseshoe golf course in Williamsburg Virginia and now my dream to attend the open on his behalf is no more a Financial reality. Best wishes to the crew getting the course ready and anyone lucky enough to be able to play in the 2017 Open..

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Guest Eric Shiel


and speaking from experience living in Carnoustie and being a member there or Saint Andrews is an amazing experience. From the 50 players per side with no player higher than a 6 handicap golf matches clubs schedule against each other to the being able to play until 11 p.m. at night in the height of the summer you never know who you'll meet from Tom Kite to a delighted group of non English-speaking tourists or the local caddy willing to share a hilarious story or two it's a wonderful experience you'll cherish for the rest of your life.

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