Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Clothes come off in Scotland

Don’t take this the wrong way but your clothes come on and off a lot when you’re in Scotland.

It’s a weather thing.

One minute it’s warm and sunny, the next minute it’s cold and breezy. Even if it’s not raining, it looks as if it could at almost any moment.

In the media center at the British Open, daily weather updates are distributed, offering reasonable guesses at what the conditions will be later in the day and later in the week.

As I write this, I’m reading a forecast that says there’s only a 20 percent chance of “heavier showers” today. The long shot came in because it’s raining so hard outside, it’s hard to hear inside the big media tent.

To their credit, weather forecasters here make no promises. Beside their forecast for Saturday (stormy and cold as Colin Montgomerie on a bad day) are the words “low-medium confidence.”

Beside the Sunday forecast (cloudy with a 50 percent chance Tiger Woods will win) are the words “low confidence.”

In other words, they’re not bragging about their Dopplers.

Because the weather never stays the same on this edge of the North Sea, dressing properly has more layers than a James Joyce novel. Beyond the obvious necessities, there’s a shirt, a sweater and a rain jacket. The Scots, by the way, don’t call them rain suits. They call them waterproofs.

Sometimes you wear all three. Sometimes two. Sometimes one. Sometimes you do all three during one walk around the golf course.

More later.

I need to go get my jacket.