Open and shut

What a silly letter from Paul Hitchen (Letters, 30 August). Does he imagine that such a puerile threat from him and his 11 friends will encourage Scots to vote No just to secure his group’s continuing patronage of our great golf courses?

Does his group refuse to spend their money in foreign countries such as Portugal, Spain or Turkey because when I visit these foreign countries to play golf I happily meet plenty of his countrymen enjoying the game.

He says that he and his group will lobby strongly for the “British Open” never to be played again in Scotland as it will “have forfeited the right” to hold a British competition.

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His ignorance and arrogance astound me. For a start it is not the British Open, it is the Open. The Open was inaugurated at Prestwick in Scotland in 1860 and administered by that great old club for the first ten years of its existence. It was then jointly administered by the Royal & Ancient Golf club of St Andrews and the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers until 1920. Full responsibility was then handed to the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (now the R&A) the governing body of golf outside the US. St Andrews is of course recognised worldwide as the Home of Golf. England, where, in the event of a Yes vote, I presume he and his group would wish to see most if not all future events being held, did not host an Open until 1894 when it was held at Royal St George’s.

With the utmost respect to the wonderful links courses of Lancashire and Kent, which have hosted the Open on many occasions, does he imagine that the greatest golfers in the world would still be desperate to play in the Open if there were no Scottish courses, which rank amongst the most challenging links in the world?

T Meikle

Gladstone Place


I would be sorry if Paul Hitchen (Letters 29 August) decided to deprive himself and his friends of playing some of the best golf courses in the world.

He perhaps should also be aware that there is no such thing as the “British Open” but the Open, currently on a rota of courses in Scotland and England, soon to be joined again by Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. It is managed by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in, er, Scotland!

Paul N Hutchison

The Anchorage


In response to Paul Hitchen (Letters, 30 August), it should be pointed out that there is no such thing as a “British Open” golf championship.

The Open championship organised by and under the aegis of the R&A in St Andrews, which Mr Hitchen is gracious enough to concede is situated in Scotland, is sometimes awarded to courses outwith the Caledonian pale. Perhaps this might be continued after Scotland becomes independent.

Mr Hitchen’s tone and 
ignorance have made a compelling argument for the erection of customs and immigration posts at our southern Border, no matter if we do remain part of the UK!

Magnus K Moodie

Boswall Terrace