Last Monday, Sir Nick Faldo joined Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky at Chelsea Piers in NYC to celebrate its third year as the Official Spirit of the upcoming Open Championship, which will be held this July at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England. Faldo starred in the special panel discussion — which also featured special guest David Cannon, a renowned golf photographer — moderated by Golf Digest senior writer Tim Rosaforte.
The panel kicked off with this video, introducing Glenmorangie’s campaign in search for the world’s most “Unnecessarily Well Made” golf holes.
The trio of Rosaforte, Faldo and Cannon discussed everything from the best holes, The Open Championship, U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer, the Ryder Cup and memorable moments in golf.
Faldo spoke passionately about his experiences in the biennial matches between the United States and Europe. He had one particularly fond highlight when he was a member of the European team in 1983, which was held at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens. While Faldo’s team lost to the U.S. by a point, it was the match that revolutionized the modern-day Ryder Cup.
Faldo recalled losing — and the captain that year, Tony Jacklin, drinking rather regularly — but more important, he remembered Seve Ballesteros providing inspiration for the team and coming into the locker room, saying, “This is not a defeat – this is a win!”
Two years later at the Belfry, Europe was victorious — and that was the start of a brilliant rivalry.
The panel ended with a Q&A session. One guest asked Faldo how his current, older self would commentate on his younger self, also known as, “Nasty Nick.” Faldo answered candidly that he would probably be quite tough on himself and point out his poor reactions to shots, etc.
After the panel wrapped up, guests were escorted onto the range at Chelsea Piers, where Faldo graced everyone with a special clinic. Sir Nick was at his finest, wowing the crowd with various shots and answering questions from curious golfers looking for help to improve their games.
Here are some highlights and Sir Nick’s tips:
Tempo is important!
And the evening wouldn’t be complete without Faldo doing his best impression of Colin Montgomerie!
To close out the night, a special toast of Glenmorangie 18-Year-Old was passed out to kick off the start of golf season in preparation for The Open in just a few weeks time.
Oh, but, wait, it wasn’t over quite yet. About a dozen or two of us lucky guests were invited to the dinner, which was held IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DRIVING RANGE at Chelsea Piers. Yep, Glenmorangie closed down the entire range for about four hours, mostly so we could dine as the sun set over the Hudson River.
I must say, dining not just at — but literally, in — the driving range at Chelsea Piers was a phenomenal experience. It was mind-blowing to walk halfway across it, where the table was set, without the threat of a bunch of hacks whacking balls at you or using you as target practice. It was also a view not many are lucky enough to see. I recommend it, if you ever get the chance. Oh, and be sure to only eat with unique Glenmorangie pairings served with each course!
I almost forgot the best part: Walking away with an autographed print by David Cannon. His beautiful photos had been plastered throughout the walls at Chelsea Piers in the Ryder Cup Room, where the panel was held (and most of the whisky drinking). At the end of the night, dinner guests were given the opportunity to pick our favorite to take home.
While I literally wanted them all, it was easy for me to choose from the collection because one of them stood out — the 17th green at Royal Dornoch, which I played last summer and birdied. I actually have a funny story about the birdie, but I won’t bore you with the details. Dornoch also turned out to be one of my favorite courses in the world (definitely top-3 so far), so it wasn’t a tough call.
In the spirit of the evening and the Open, I had my roommate select the print of the par-3 13th at Royal Liverpool (Hoylake).
Cheers to Glenmorangie — see you at Hoylake (and at Royal Birkdale for the Women’s British Open)!
Here’s a gallery of photos from the lovely evening…