On the Beatt with Graeme

On the Beatt with Graeme

Royal Portrush course manager Graeme Beatt.

By Damian Mullan

Reporter:

By Damian Mullan

Email:

sport@thechronicle.uk.com

I'M sure most of us are at our wit's end with the weather we've endured this week.

Heavy, persistent rain, albeit coupled with warm temperatures, isn't exactly ideal for this time of year.

But while it may upset our summer plans slightly, spare a thought for Royal Portrush Golf Club course manager Graeme Beatt.

He is the man charged with having the Dunluce Links in optimum shape for the return of The Open this day next week.

Too much rain and the course is deemed 'too soft,' making it easier for the world's best golfers.

Too much sun and the course dries out and you get a situation similar to Carnoustie 12 months ago where sun-baked fairways and greens made it a different type of challenge.

Somewhere in the middle is ideal but here in Northern Ireland we have learned to expect the unexpected when it comes to the weather.

To aid Graeme and his team, a special weather station has been installed at Royal Portrush, providing the most up to date and precise forecast.

That information will then be used to present a difficult but fair test for the world's best golfers.

It promises to be a busy week - with early starts and late nights - but one which will bring its own rewards in the shape of a deserving winner.

“Hopefully, come Sunday, we’ll have done our job and the best golfer of the week will claim the Claret Jug," says Graeme.

A full interview with the quietly-spoken Scot forms just part of The Chronicle's comprehensive preview of The 148th Open at Royal Portrush.

Our reporters have been working hard over the past number of weeks to bring you their unique, local take on the return of one of the world's largest sporting events.

Featuring a wide range of stories, photos, interviews and comment, 'Open Season' is a packed 32-page supplement celebrating an historic week for the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area.

It truly will be a souvenir edition of The Chronicle - make sure and get yours.

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BREAKING

'Giant Welcome' awaits at The Open

Lesley-Ann O’Donnell, Tourism NI, is pictured with hospitality industry representatives including Jonathan Wade, Grand Central Hotel Head Concierge and David Gillmore, Chef at James Street & Co.