A Golf Link to the Zone
A couple of years ago, I had the great pleasure of playing a BBC Scotland Knockout Golf match with Fred MacAulay. We had a great day out down on the Ayrshire coast and despite being 4 down at the turn, I kept my nerve and pulled it back to beat him at the 19th hole after we tied up the last. Fred was very gracious in defeat and I went on to be beaten in the next round by former newsman Alan Mackay.
Our 2010 knockout is underway. Fred is through to the next round already and I'm chancing my luck against Newsdrive's Nick Rougvie this weekend.
Growing up just outside Troon, golf was always on my radar. But it was something that my Dad and brother did. One day I decided to go too and that was that. I got the bug and have played on and off ever since. Mind you, it's almost 20 years since my most memorable moment on the links when I had a hole in one at the 8th hole of Troon Portland. I struck a six iron clean as a whistle and I still have the yellow ball that I hit that day.
It's an exciting time for golfers and fans of the game. Last week's Scottish Open made for great viewing and listening with a special mention to young Scottish curler Eve Muirhead who joined the BBC Radio Scotland commentary team and did a brilliant job.
This week it's the big one with the Open Championship at St Andrews. I can't wait for play to get underway and I'm heading to the Old Course on Friday for a day in the 17th stand. That's the best spot to watch the players tackle the famous Road Hole then make their way over the historic Swilken Bridge and hopefully not into the Valley of Sin in front of the final green. Once the winner of the Claret Jug is confirmed on Sunday night, the action shifts to Carnoustie for the Senior's Open and don't be thinking that's all doddery old men - remember Tom Watson at Turnberry last year?
To celebrate all the great golf on offer at the moment, I've indulged myself in producing a golf-themed edition of our History Zone. Fred MacAulay is your host for 5 and half hours of archive BBC Radio Scotland documentaries featuring some giants of the game like Lee Trevino, Tony Jacklin, Seve Ballesteros, Sandy Lyle, Nick Faldo, Gary Player, Sam Torrance, Ernie Els, Tom Watson, Colin Montgomerie and Greg Norman. There are audio tours of top Scottish courses like Prestwick, home of the Open Championship, Gleneagles, Turnberry and of course St Andrews. Fred MacAulay adds some lovely tales from the links and he too has had a moment of glory with a hole in one. If you want to know where he celebrated his ace, tune into the History Zone for all the details and Sportsound for live coverage of the event.