In July 1970, I climbed into my old Ford car, slinging a suitcase-sized Olivetti typewriter onto the back seat, and pointed the car north to St Andrews. I was leaving a London barely settled after a general election in which Edward Heath, a round-faced, plummy-voiced Conservative who was an accomplished organist, had led his party to victory over Harold Wilson, a thin-voiced, wily Labour politician. It was an upset and one that Wilson would, in later years, attribute to England’s recent defeat by Germany in the soccer World Cup. “The country was in a bad mood,” he said.
I was in anything but. Though my wife and I had been married for less than two months, thus making my jaunt to Scotland not exactly what she wanted, I was looking forward to it immensely. I was going to attend and report on an Open at the home of golf. I had read about Opens at that famous venue, watched television footage of same but had never been able to attend one. Indeed, I had never been to St Andrews. Now I was bound for one of the halls of residence a stone’...
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