A journey back in time

Early Saturday morning in Conshohocken just outside Philadelphia I pick up a Wall Street Journal on the way to Merion Golf Club. Its weekend edition has a great article on the Walker Cup and the history behind it. In fact, a visit to the Walker Cup is a bit like a journey back in time. Started in 1922 by the visionary George Herbert Walker, the grandfather of George H.W. Bush, it was put in place to ease the International tensions that still remained after the first World War and to increase friendship both amongst competitors and across nations. I would imagine that some of the amateurs competing in those days were quite high profile people in their society so in some way, it was probably easy to see the two purposes meet. Golf nowadays is different. Most of the players are in their early twenties, eager to go on to a life in professional golf, but the values and principles of the Walker Cup remain. The people that come to watch the matches are the true lovers of the game, many of whom have spent their entire life being involved in it both as players and officials. At Merion there are no ropes surrounding the players. You walk next to the players on the fairways. And in fact, ropes are not needed as the crowd here know how to behave on a golf course. Like Rand Jerris, the lead historian and Director of Communications of the USGA says;
“We stage it on behalf of the average golfers everywhere, who play the game because they love it and aren’t out to make a living from it”. That however, does not mean that the matches are any less exciting!

Follow the action at Merion on www.walkercup.org.

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