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While away recently I missed the news that Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of the R&A, had passed away. Catching up over the weekend I noted several, “Golf to Farewell Dawson” type headlines, which gave pause. Now nobody likes to speak ill of the dead but while Dawson’s family will no doubt grieve, the game of golf will not miss him.
As is the case anytime the Open Championship is held in Scotland, the focus of the golfing world shifts to the birthplace of our game and the many golfing pearls dotted across her coastline. The likes of St Andrews, Muirfield, Carnoustie, Turnberry, Royal Troon and Royal Dornoch need no introduction and are household names for those who have, as well as those who haven’t, traveled to these ancient shores. Throw in the likes of Royal Aberdeen, Prestwick, North Berwick, Cruden Bay, Brora and Machrihanish as fun alternatives to the bigger names, and it’s hard to mount a credible argument against this being the greatest golf destination in the world.
While visitors naturally gravitate toward the older links here, there are a number of modern designs with a strong following. The next is being designed by Aussie architect Bob Harrison, on a breathtaking piece of land on the sparsely populated island of Jura. Harrison describes the project as ‘perhaps the most significant and enjoyable’ of his career. Intrigued, we head to Scotland for a sneak preview.