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With Spotlight On Scotland, Here Comes Ryder Cup

It has been an enormous week in Scotland.

And another one is on the way.

It began with the announcement that members of the Royal and Ancient had voted overwhelmingly – 85 percent in favor – to accept female members, ending centuries of male-only membership. It may have been decades late in happening but it’s finally happened and there will be no delay in bringing women into the ultimate old boys club.

Now, if they could only make some headway on reining in how far golf balls travel.

The second ground-shaking vote was Scotland’s decision to remain a member of the United Kingdom. There had been a rush of anticipation in recent days that Scotland might actually vote for independence but the referendum failed, with roughly 55 percent voting to keep the ties to the U.K.

In golf parlance, it was a 3-and-2 victory for tradition.

Next up – the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

It’s the first time the matches have been played in Scotland since they were at Muirfield in 1973. Muirfield, it should be noted, is home to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which still does not accept women members.

This is an enormous moment for the golf-centric country where the long-range weather forecast for Auchterarder, where Gleneagles is located, is favorable for the moment anyway.

If you’re imagining watching Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson battling it out on a classic links, you’ll be disappointed. The Ryder Cup course at Gleneagles is as American-looking as blue jeans and T-shirts, plopped into the middle of the country and surrounded by some impressive hills that aren’t quite big enough to be called mountains.

Still, the Ryder Cup is about the competition, not the course. It’s about the edge that comes with falling 1 down and choruses of “Ole, Ole, Ole” echoing across the property.

Politics have been dealt with in Scotland this week.

The fun stuff comes next.


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