“Since receiving a job offer from Golf World Magazine in the spring of 1986, John Huggan has progressed from being one of Scotland’s finest amateur players into establishing himself as one of the game’s most important and knowledgeable writers.”
And ever since I started this blog I’ve relied on what John has written to provide me with controversial content going all the way back to his article in the Scotsman, May 13, 2007.
John Huggan’s article, “Major delusions of grandeur at PGA's showpiece event,” includes the following remark, “Today's four majors should probably be the Open, the US Open, the Players and a travelling World Match Play Championship - it ain't going to happen, people. Not as long as those green-jacketed stiffs at Augusta and those plaid-jacketed sweater salesmen at the PGA of America have voices louder than they should be in this day and age.”
The “sweater salesman” of St Andrews
“Sweater salesmen”, is a frequently used Huggie remark to describe his distaste for some of golf’s governing organisations and while reading his thoughts about the R&A it struck me that they too, may one day be classified as sweater salesmen.
Kieran writes, “With a recent change of leadership at the R&A, there is perhaps renewed – if faint – hope that something could be done to address the monstrous distance that the ball now travels. Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer would certainly welcome that effort, as would John Huggan.
“When you speak privately to these guys (at the R&A), they’ll all admit that there’s a problem with the game in that it’s not nearly as interesting to watch and play at the top level as it used to be. So I would hope that there is a will to do something, whether there is the ability to do it is a different matter.”
On elitism and exclusivity
“I hate to pick on America, but Pine Valley, which is routinely voted number one on every best course in the world list, you can’t go in or walk around and have a look at the place, never mind play. It’s surrounded by a big fence. I think that’s just appalling.
“And it’s not just America, I’ve been lucky enough to play quite a lot of golf at Muirfield with a friend of mine who used to be the greenkeeper there, we’d go out in the evening and play after he finished work. Sometimes, on a beautiful summer’s night, we were the only two people on the golf course. That’s great for us, but there is something wrong with that. Why has the game gone in that direction? It’s supposed to be an inclusive game, not an exclusive game at its best. And I think in many ways, that’s why it has such a terrible image with non-golfers.”
Link to Kieran Clark and to John Huggan
Quote of the Day
“With the possible exception of Bubba Watson, nobody plays golf at the top level anymore like Seve Ballesteros or Lee Trevino. My two favourites. That just doesn’t happen, it seems to be more a test of execution, and the ability to hit the same shot over and over again has become more important than the ability to play ten different shots.” – John Huggan