I remember the days when the GB&I Walker Cup team turned up on American soil, played a couple of practice rounds, got pasted and then went home to lick their wounds. Those days are long gone. Practice sessions for potential team members are a big part of GB&I preparations today.
Many of the GB&I team already know the sort of test Merion will pose. The GB&I squad were at Merion last year for a site visit.
It isn’t the only time team members have got together. In April, the team had a three-day squad session at Formby Golf Club, venue for this year’s British Amateur Championship. In August, potential players spent two days at Valderrama, Spain, practicing on greens that will more resemble Merion’s.
It doesn’t end there. How about this for a lineup of rounds:
The GB&I team played Sunningdale’s Old Course Sept. 4, before flying to the United States the next day. Upon arrival in the U.S., they went straight to Pine Valley for two days of golf Sept. 6-7. They planned to play Merion today. On Wednesday, the plan was to give them a change of scenery to play the Donald Ross greens of Aronimink.
Then it was back to Merion for final preparations Thursday and Friday.
It’s a tough job being a GB&I Walker Cup player these days, isn’t it?