by Jeff Skinner
I have always respected Mike Davis of the USGA and Peter Dawson of the R&A, but the events of this week have caused me to look at Mr. Dawson in a different light.
Davis and Dawson put on an interesting show with the announcement of the rule change banning anchored strokes. With the announcement comes a firestorm of controversy and a very convenient side effect for Dawson: all the media focus has shifted from his sneak attack on the Old Course.
The R&A, led by Dawson, and the St. Andrews Links Trust announced on the Friday after Thanksgiving that they would be making drastic changes to the old course. Anytime you want to bury news you let it loose on a Friday.
So Dawson gives us the bad news on Friday and by Monday earth movers are on the course and the Road Hole Bunker is ripped up. There wasn’t even time for Tom Doak’s campaign, protesting the changes, to gain any traction.
Now, on Wednesday Dawson uses Davis and the announcement for cover to take the heat away from the desecration of the Old Course. Seal Team Six couldn’t have planned a better operation. Mission accomplished Mr. Dawson. All the press you were getting for violating the Old Course has now been focused on the rules change. Sneaky, very sneaky.
May you be haunted by the ghost of Old Tom Morris.