The Open Championship

The Open Championship

In 2010, the 139th Open was the 150th Anniversary of The 1st Open and played at St. Andrews.  This week, the 150th Open and the 162nd anniversary of The Open is being played in the same location.  

Louis Oosthuizen won in 2010.  Although ‘10 was the third Open in a row I attended, I barely recall hearing the name Oosthuizen before that week.  I consider myself to be a huge fan of the game (albeit a horrendous player of it), not sure how I missed him (had zero Social Media back then).

I have grown to admire Louis over the years, he seems to be a good person.  Great golf swing, relaxed demeanor.  He’s a family man, bought a small farm in Ocala, Florida called “Freedom Oaks”.

Louis put together 4 solid rounds of golf and beat the field that week by 7 strokes that year.  Here is a good listen of Louis’ 2010 Open on The Open Podcast on Apple, the best podcast in golf.

While Louis’ win in 2010 was not overly exciting to me (but nothing short of incredible), that Open for me did have meaning.  I got to attend with my Dad.  

He and his wife had been visiting her daughter and husband (State Department guy) in Brussels and they hopped over to visit us for a week while we were living in England.  We drove up the east coast, spent the night in Newcastle.  Continued driving North, visited Hadrian’s wall.  Listened to my dad for the 150th time tell me how The Pollock Clan was from south of Glasgow (lowland Scot’s) and at some point was later “consumed” by The Maxwell Clan.  

We walked the Saturday round at St Andrew’s and chatted.  I entertained several questions from his wife who knew absolutely nothing about golf but somehow found herself walking on the most sacred ground in the game and convinced she had no idea why.  Somehow that overshadowed conversations with my Dad.  

They had to fly out the next day back to Brussels so we gave them a lift to EDI and we proceeded on to the Sunday round.   

During that final round I had an empty feeling, when you miss an opportunity and you know it, like a few days with my Dad in England and Scotland, attending The Open at St. Andrews wasn’t enough.  Surely he could’ve stayed another week and we could have kept exploring, maybe squeezed in a round or two.  Did he really need to “get back” to Brussels to sit in some stuffy apartment while his wife and daughter window shopped?  

Not being someone who dwells on regret, I do regret not making a bigger effort to keep him there for another week. Had I known he was going to pass away unexpectedly 2.5 years later, at the young age of 66, I would have.  

I meant to take dads ashes and sprinkle them on the Sunday we visited The Old Course, at the end of May.  I forgot them.  Yep, left them in South Carolina.  I am convinced that happened for a reason, somehow he had something to do with it, to ensure we plan and take a future trip.

If you are thinking about a trip to Scotland (or elsewhere) with your Dad, Mom, sibling or best pal - DO IT.  You won’t regret the money you spend, I promise.  We did it 7 weeks ago and I am still paying off the credit card, the best debt I have ever racked up.

Enjoy the 150th playing of The Open.  If you happen to be there with your Dad, slow down the day as much as you can and enjoy.  

Cheers, Ben