Walton HeathLast week’s Senior Open Championship took place at the world renowned heathland layout of Walton Heath in Surrey, England. Having been associated with the very best in amateur and professional golf since its inception in 1903, it is hard to believe that the Senior Open was the first professional tournament to be held here since 1991. It does make one question why a course of such international pedigree is hidden from the world of golf.

While the likes of Sunningdale and Walton Heath have hosted the European Senior Tour’s flagship event in recent years, their appearance within the professional sphere is a rare one. The path to hosting a tournament is now rather a case of sponsorship case rather than test of golf. Such barriers are of great detriment to golf, given the rich history that the likes of Sunningdale and Walton Heath have contributed to, it seems a crime. For example how many people will remember Bobby Jones’ perfect 66 at Sunningdale in Open Qualifying in 1926 vs. David Gilford’s win in the European Open at East Sussex National in 1994.

Another concern is the dwindling professional tournaments taking place in Great Britain, given the rude health of British golf at the moment it would seem wise to grow the game by showcasing great golfers, great golf courses and great tournaments. Perhaps the professional golfing bodies should consider legacy vs. Balance sheet for the next schedule.