The "British Open" is the most unique golf tournament of the summer, especially for an American.
Of all my memories watching golf growing up, the “British Open” provided some of the most unique experiences.
I remember my dad telling stories of the mysterious links style courses of England and Scotland, which somehow didn’t feature trees or frequent water hazards.
When I was younger I always looked forward to the British Open, when my dad would point out the differences in course types and tell me about the times he played on links style courses.
“This is the way golf was invented, and this is the way that it should be played,” he would say.
I have played plenty of faux links courses, but I’ve never experienced the real thing. A few years ago I did visit Whistling Straits located in Kohler, Wisconsin, and it was unlike a course I had ever seen before. The incredible elevation change and style of grasses were beautiful and majestic.
Whistling Straits made Hazeltine National, the site of the 2009 PGA Championship and 2016 Ryder Cup which I have been lucky enough to play multiple times, look plain and ordinary. At the end of my summer in London, I plan to visit Scotland to see (and hopefully play) the types of courses that I watched on TV and heard so many stories about.
Another reason why the Open was one of my favourite tournaments of the year was that it broke up a fairly boring sports summer.
The MLB (Major League Baseball) is the only major American sport that takes place during the summer, and features a very long and sometimes boring 162-game season.
The Open, featuring very early start times, fit in to the summer nicely. There is a six hour time difference between the UK and Minnesota, so I looked forward to waking up and watching golf, rather than having to wait until the afternoon.
My favourite memory of the Open comes from Tigers Woods’ incredible eighteen-under performance in 2006, shortly after his father passed away.
I was a huge Tiger fan at the time, and I felt his emotion through the TV. His effort in that tournament was one of the most inspirational and well-played performances that I have ever seen.
This is one reason why I’m very excited for the Open 2014, as it heads back to Royal Liverpool, where Tiger won in 2006.
It looks like he will be able to play, and although he may no longer feel my unconditional love, Tiger makes everything more interesting.