WHEN Gordon McCadden, golf editor of the website www.golflinksspain.com, received an invitation to play the mighty links at Carnoustie there was absolutely no hesitation!
He recalls that the first thing he did on receiving confirmation of the trip was to go straight to his father’s old stash of memorabilia and there, sure enough as he had thought, was an old course guide from the early 1970s
He explained: “It is in a concertina format in a red plastic holder and at that time, the sixth hole was still referred to as ‘Long’ as opposed to its better known title of ‘Hogan’s Alley’ after Hogan’s epic Open Championship, which he won in 1953.
“But there was even better to come. Tucked in at the back of the course guide was an old scorecard of my late father, Reggie McCadden, dated June 10, 1976. It would appear that dad was playing with a man by the name of Bryan Davies and that they went round in 94 and 92 respectively when my father was probably playing off about a 12 handicap, similar to my own.”
Mr McCadden went on: “This was just too good to be true. I would play the ‘old man’ a match against his card, he having passed away some 16 years ago.
“I will not go into every blow but, as he began his round with three straight pars I quickly found myself three down after three, not the most auspicious of starts. Truth be told, I did not do the course, or my father, justice on the day and, despite getting our match back to all square at the turn, he went on to give me a good spanking with a 4 and 3 victory.
“OK, so I managed to half the bye with him and managed to keep my ball out of the Barry Burn on what must be the toughest finish in championship golf.
“I can only hope that I may get the chance to play these magnificent links again at some time in the future, only the next time, I think I shall try and focus on the course itself, and what a course it is.”
Mr McCadden concluded: “To all golfers out there who have yet to experience the splendour of the Carnoustie Links I can only urge to put it high on your ‘wish list’ if you have not already done so.”