The Cut Line / Oct 28 Scottish Boys move makes total sense

2016 10 Scottish Golf

0455_BUNK_The Cut Line

Around three or four years ago, I attended a Scottish Golf Union press conference in the Edinburgh HQ of the organisation’s long-standing partner, Aberdeen Asset Management.

The exact details of the announcement escape me – I have a feeling it may have been to reveal changes to the ‘Performance’ set-up – but, as can happen at these things, the conversation soon became an exchange of opinions about areas in which the SGU could improve or look to make further changes.

A fellow writer told me it would be 'messing with tradition' to move it.

I volunteered the suggestion that the Scottish Boys’ Championship should be moved from April to a slot in the school summer holidays. I reasoned that it devalued the tournament – lauded as the ‘flagship’ championship for junior golfers in Scotland – to play it a time of year when the weather was invariably awful.



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ScottishGolf



I’ve lost count of the number of pictures that have been sent to us from the event where the competitors are all layered up, wearing woolly hats, and bracing themselves against the elements. Move it to the summer and, whilst there are no guarantees the weather will be good, it will have a much better chance.



Fair enough? Apparently not.



The suggestion was, quite literally, laughed off. A fellow writer even told me that it would be ‘messing with tradition’ to move it. I could have pointed out that the ‘tradition’ of hosting the event in April has produced not one European Tour winner from the list of former winners of the Scottish Boys dating back to Andrew Coltart, below, in 1987 but I’m sure he already knew that…



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Austrian Golf Open - Day Two



bunkered editor Bryce Ritchie received a similarly dismissive response when he made the same suggestion a few years earlier. The then chief executive of the SGU, Hamish Grey, simply shook his head at the notion.



So, you could perhaps excuse us if we felt somewhat vindicated when Scottish Golf issued a press release earlier this week announcing that, what do you know, the Scottish Boys has a new date on the domestic calendar from next season during, that’s right, the school summer holidays.

With any luck, its new date will yield greater media coverage.

Not so funny now, eh?



The fact of the matter is that a summer date makes more sense, and long has, for a tournament of such implied importance. Everyone knows that the window for championship golf in Scotland is not especially big. It’s a short season and there are a lot of events to fit in. It’s even trickier when you have to allow for school holidays, as is the case with the bulk of the junior calendar.



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Still, kids are off for seven or eight weeks at the height of the season each year – were we really supposed to believe that not one of those was suitable? Not for a second did I buy that and it seems that, after a ‘comprehensive review’, the powers-that-be at Scottish Golf have arrived at the same conclusion. It now doesn’t matter how long it took them to get there. All that matters is that they have.



I’m one of the first to criticise Scottish Golf when they do things I disagree with. Regular readers of The Cut Line will be only too aware of that. However, I’ll also give credit where it’s due – and it certainly is in this instance.



Common sense has prevailed.



-/-



So, Twitter has decided to call time on its popular-but-not-as-popular-as-they’d-like-it-to-be video app, Vine.



Seems like as good a time as any to revisit this…


-/-



This week I have been… contemplating becoming a caddie. This was after learning that Rory McIlroy’s man, JP Fitzgerald, earned a seven-figure payday when his man won last month’s Tour Championship and, with it, the FedEx Cup. Fitzgerald got 10% of the $9m bonus McIlroy was paid up-front for winning the Playoffs, plus a further 10% of the $1.53m Tour Championship first prize. There are just a few things stopping me making the switch: terrible eyesight, a fear of flying, a complete lack of experience, and a chronic inability to read my own putts, never mind somebody else’s. Plus, I look terrible in a bib. Other than that, I’m the perfect candidate. Where do I enrol?



-/-



President Barack Obama Meets With Tiger Woods



It must be great to be President Obama. Not only can you use your position to engineer a four-day golf break in Florida, where you get lessons from Butch Harmon and play 18 holes with Tiger Woods, you also get to charge the cost of the jaunt to the US taxpayer – all $3.6million of it. Hail to the chief!



-/-



knox timberlake



And finally… Russell Knox says he is regularly mistaken for Justin Timberlake by excited, often 'screaming', female fans of the pop superstar. Which makes you wonder – does Timberlake get mobbed by chino-wearing middle-aged men mistaking him for our Russell?

Michael McEwan / The Cut Line

Log-on every Friday morning to read The Cut Line, a weekly blog by bunkered's Michael McEwan.

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