Why golf was at its best at Birkdale

There was a moment when the ball was in the air and Jordan was in full surrender-cobra mode, where it could have all gone horribly wrong.

Golf’s golden boy (sorry Rory) should have cantered to the line, as the likeable, but rather goofy, Matt Kuchar remained at level par for the day. As Jordan’s Titleist ball sailed towards the Titleist truck on the range – how ironic – those at the top of the game must have been holding their breath.

If Kuchar had won, far fewer would have remembered the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale.

Instead, this was a win for all involved in the sport.

The twenty-three-year-old phenomenon took the tournament by the scruff of the neck and willed himself to perform, unlike many before him have on the Sunday of a Major. 


For those who are worried about how far the pros are hitting it, Birkdale was for you.

Jordan Spieth does not hit it far, at all.

When watching DJ, you know he’ll be pushing the 400-yard mark with the driver, and whilst that is a spectacle in itself, it is not the same sport that you and I play.

Jordan plays the sport we are familiar with. Except for just a little bit better…

Spieth at Birkdale was an example of how to work out a golf course. He hit it in the fairway, knocked it on the green – 69% of the time – and two putted. When he missed the green, he got up and down (or just up – see Round 2’s 10th hole) and knocked in the odd birdie.

This is the golf that amateurs should be aspiring to play. Not the shot-tracer bomb-athon that the long guys are doing. 


For those who are worried about the declining participation of juniors, Birkdale was for you.

Dressed in ‘not-your-typical-golf-brand’ Under Armour, the Texan, yet again, captured the imagination of the younger viewers. Aspiring juniors want to see him drinking beers out of The Claret Jug on Sunday evening (via Justin Thomas’ snapchat) and millions do!

Weeks such as this are going to get juniors to pick up a club, rather than being scared of how many inches above the shoe their socks are.

They want someone who plays golf barefoot in the Bahamas with his buddies, speaks his mind in front of the media and is a breath of fresh air to what is an inherently conservative sport.

Did you see his celebration after holing that bunker shot at The Travelers in June?!

We look onwards to the final Major of the year - the PGA Championship - with the most baited of breath. The venue, Quail Hollow, is McIlroy’s de facto home turf in the States, after his final round 63 won him his first PGA Tour victory back in 2010. But who in their right mind would bet against Jordan Spieth after that performance?

Let’s just hope that golf is shown at its best, just as it was at Royal Birkdale.

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