Jim Holtgrieve, 60, of St. Louis, Mo., is on a ‘scouting’ visit to Royal Aberdeen Golf Club (AKA Balgownie Links) in Aberdeen, Scotland, in advance of the 2011 Walker Cup Match, which will be played Sept. 10-11. Holtgrieve, who won the 1981 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, played on three consecutive winning USA Walker Cup Teams – 1979, 1981 and 1983. This is the third and final installment of his diary.
This has been a wonderful trip as we have experienced wonderful Scottish golf and have made many new friends. Rich and I went back out to Royal Aberdeen Golf Club to complete the survey and measurement of the golf course.
I took pictures of all the tee markers and then proceeded to take a picture from the teeing ground. We then proceeded to approximate landing areas and/or specific bunkers at the landing areas. I took additional pictures from angles to the greens or other strategic points. We did measurements with our laser from all these points as well. This will allow me to create yardage books for each team member to prepare them in advance of their actual practice sessions. Course knowledge is imperative at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club.
We completed our trip by playing another round of golf at Royal Aberdeen with Niall Farquharson, chairman of the 2011 Walker Cup Match, and Jim Christie, vice chairman of the 2011 Walker Cup Match. Everyone here at Royal Aberdeen has been so kind to us and they are very excited to be hosting the 2011 Walker Cup. The USA team will be looking to win for a fourth consecutive time after victories at Chicago Golf Club (2005), Royal County Down in Northern Ireland (2007) and last year at Merion Golf Club outside of Philadelphia.
I wish to sincerely thank everyone for making this a magnificent beginning of my Walker Cup journey. Specific gratitudes go to my wife Kristine, along with Rich and Cindy Weis, for their support and hard work on this trip.
Captain Jim Holtgrieve