As we approach the Open Championship at Carnoustie, prepare to hear a great deal about two golfers: John Van de Velde and Ben Hogan. Neither will be there, but each has left his signature on Carnoustie. Since you'll have no shortage of Van de Velde replays in the days to come, let us point you to Tom English's piece this weekend in the Scotsman, which is worth a read ... and a registration.
After recounting how Hogan almost decided not to make his one British Open trip, English describes the reception when he finally made the trip:
Whatever the reasons, the visit has gone down in the history of Scottish golf, Carnoustie showing him more adoration in the space of a fortnight than America had done in all the years that went before. In Scotland, the relationship was unconditional. They took Hogan as they found him and that was good enough.
"I want you only to carry my bag, son, and keep very quiet," he told his caddie at Carnoustie, a 34-year-old local Cecil Timms.
"Aye, Mr Hogan. So you dinnae want me to club ye, Sir?"
"No, son. Keep the clubs clean and your mouth shut. Is that completely understood?"
"Aye. Shall I read the greens for ye, then?"
Can you imagine a professional golfer giving those instructions today?
--* Bob Carney*