Tiger Woods didn’t like the interview Dan Jenkins made with “him” last week. Guess who I met? The change agent of his time, Old Tom Morris.
Why did you turn down previous interview requests with me?
Well, I got a call from The Boss on the day your grandmother was born and I have been away ever since. Let’s put it that way.
So why now?
I just came for a visit. I had some unfinished business here on earth.
Dare I ask you, what kind of business?
Basic stuff. Consulting greenkeepers, remodelling some Trump courses, nothing that special.
The world has changed a lot since your boss called?
You think so? There’s still four wheels in Mercedes.
I mean, you must have been turning in your grave while watching your sport changing dramatically: becoming a multi-billion industry, developing these ever-changing all-forgiving golf clubs, allowing digital devices on the golf course and so on?
Uh, not really… Firstly, I’m a few miles over, not six feet under anymore. Secondly, I was a rebel in my time, the wind of change. Have you ever heard of 18-hole rounds, actively managed hazards, top-dressing greens, using a push mower…
I have. And I know you’ve got something to do with them. But I’m sure you haven’t got much sleep after they started to carry GPS devices while playi…
Have you ever heard of yardage markers?
But did you know that they are even getting rid of paper and pencil and using smartphone as their scorecard?
What?!? You must be kidding! They did it! You know, I tried to convince Mr. Bell that he should really focus on developing a mobile scorecard and live scoring system integrated into his telephone device. But all his efforts in trying to build a touch screen were unsuccessful. And he couldn’t get away from those bloody cables either. By the way, do you know why we preferred matchplay back then?
Because you didn’t have to dance to the tune of television broadcasting companies?
False. The real reason was that while playing strokeplay we had no idea, who was leading and who were catching up. Man, playing strokeplay was so lonely back then, like a lottery. No excitement, no trash-talk, nothing. The best way to keep track on your score was to choose matchplay where your only opponent was playing in the same group with you.
But you had those paper scorecar…
Listen. It was some 150 years ago, when I was in my prime. But back then, it was as far as man had ever come. It wasn’t the past. It was the present. And every change I made was the future. The same applies for today. Time goes on, everything evolves and you should really learn to live with that. And by the way, this paper scorecard is handy when the weather is decent, but in Scotland there’s usually more moisture in the air than in your whisky glass. And then you can swipe your nose with your scorecard.
Right… Did you follow Ryder Cup?
I did. Sky Sports had a good coverage.
They say…that…you know…it was all fault of…old…Tom…again…
Old Tom? He’s 128 years younger than me and they call him old? You know what was the problem with the Americans?
Please, tell me.
Tom shouldn’t have been the captain. He should have been the pick, or playing captain. That would have made the difference. At least off the course, if not on the course.
Do you really think that the stars and stripes would have had a chance, if Tom had been playing?
God knows. I don’t have a clue. But my arguments are as strong as anybody’s.
Who do you think should be the next captain for Team USA?
Captain Morgan. They should loosen up a little. It’s only golf.
Thank you, Old Tom Morris. This was a pleasure.
It could have been. If you had done your homework.