Check out the description of the celebration by the European Team from the K Club in Ireland after beating the American Ryder Cup team again.
Diann and I were in Scotland some years ago during a Ryder Cup event being played in the U.S., and I can tell you the television audience over there was just as crazy about every good shot, every victory, every related event. It was what everybody talked about. It was all they talked about. Even if you didn’t play golf, it was fun.
The golf courses in each area of Scotland are defining points to the regional community. Tourists are welcomed to play just about everywhere, but the facilities are the pride of the areas in which they are located and the locals come first. Private Club or public facility, the locals come first.
That is certainly the way most of us feel about our Torrey Pines course.
This city recently passed a new “5 year plan,” which pretty much guts organized public play at Torrey Pines, ending about 50 consecutive years of such events. Monthly weekend tournaments were eliminated and the Thursday morning events populated by mostly retirees were reduced to two per month. The ladies Friday morning “back nine” event (where you only play 9 holes long before any regular play would get around to those back nine holes) was completely eliminated.
Like you, I understand that every good public thing that has value must now be wrung dry for its economic value to the city. The great public golf courses must be ridded of public play so more tourists can play at much higher rates. More needs to be charged for local pool and library use. Everything that doesn’t have a fee will get one, and those that do will get a boost. Just a small part of the legacy of our fiscal wayward ways of late.
The “Torrey Pines Men’s Golf Club” now organizes its municipal matches for local citizen golfers at private courses because they are no longer welcome to play on their own course.
It might not be a big thing, but something is not right about that. And, watching the Europeans Ryder Cup celebration reminded me of it.
– PAT SHEA