?There is just one other thing I should tell you,? Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A, confided in me as the interview was drawing to a close. ?Although The Open is set to be played at Royal Birkdale next year, I can now tell you that if a certain new course is completed in time it will be going there instead.?
I looked at him quizzically, knowing full well The Open rota is virtually set in stone several years ahead, and not aware of any new links courses under construction that could gratecrash their way in prematurely. ?Where is this new course?? I asked.
He rummaged round on his desk for a few moments before producing a large plan, which he unfolded to reveal the layout of a new course called The Montreal Club. As my eyes scanned the plan I could see that it was in Crieff, Perthshire – miles from the nearest coast.
?But this isn?t even a links,? I protested, ? and you?ve always said to me that The Open will never move away from a traditional British links!? My eyes examined the plans further, spotting a housing development alongside some of the front nine fairways. ?I know,? Peter replied, ? and that?s the way we would ideally like it to stay. But I?m afraid our hands are very much tied on this one. We simply have no choice.?
As I glanced back up from the plans I was surprised to see that Peter was now sporting a wig with a ridiculously pronounced comb-over. Just as I was about to ask him what the hell was going on, something suddenly hit me?. my 6-year-old son, Oliver. ?Wakey, wakey, daddy!? he shrieked, as is his early morning way.
So it had all been a dream and yet it had all seemed so real at the time. Exactly what had triggered it, I?ll never know – unless any resident oneiropolists out there would care to enlighten me.
In the meantime, there?s not much more to say other than that it just goes to show to what extent we live, breathe and eat golf here on the GM team. And if you want to know what Peter Dawson really had to say about The Open ? this year?s at Carnoustie ? you?ll need to buy the October issue of GM, out any day now.