How does U.K. golf dominate American golf? On-course treats
Finally, someone said it.
I had been waiting all summer for another visitor to Scotland to acknowledge just how great the treats are in the U.K., and there was Jin Young Ko, in the front of the press at the 2022 AIG Women’s Open, admitting to eating two sausage rolls per day.
“I didn’t eat [any] yet this week,” she said. “I can’t see the sausage roll out on the course, so it’s very sad. Where is the sausage roll?”
It’s an important question for anyone visiting golf courses in the United Kingdom. Fast-forward 12 months and there was Jin Young Ko Wednesday, once again professing her love for the delicacy at this week’s AIG Women’s Open.
“I don’t have the goal, any goals. I don’t have any expectation, she said. “I don’t have any stress from the golf. I just want to enjoy for this week and I just want to eat a lot of sausage roll.”
Can I get an Amen?
Kudos to Ko for doing this in front of the press once again, using her platform to speak out about what’s important. Because golf treats are important. How often are we told exactly that by top professionals? You need to have a mid-round snack.
It’s one thing that courses in the U.K. do much better than their American counterparts. Courses in the States more often pride themselves on the drinks you can snag at the turn rather than the grub. Double-vodka lemonades at Claremont Country Club in Oakland. Heavy transfusions at Ridgewood in New Jersey.
But the on-course drinking culture just isn’t the same across the pond. And that’s okay! (I prefer it, anyway.) Below are the luxuries that U.K. golfers are blessed with that we’re missing out on over here.
You’ve heard of egg rolls. Even veggie rolls. The concept here is similar. It’s just slightly-spiced sausage cooked to perfection inside a pastry. They sell ’em hot and ready between the 9th green and the 10th tee on the Old Course at St. Andrews, where play can slow down a bit between drivable par-4s. They even sell them at most bakeries in the U.K., as discussed by Ko in the clip below. She was bakery-hunting as of Wednesday afternoon.
Often the best treats are the simplest. That way, everyone can make them on their own. The simplest, at least from what I’ve consumed thus far, is the bacon bap. They do bacon a bit differently over in Europe, notably that it’s cut thick in wider strips rather than the skinnier, “streaky” bacon we tend to do in the States.
Finally, like most British food offerings, the serving size is much smaller than what American golfers dive in on. A good sausage roll or bacon bap are nothing more than a few bites. Digestible between golf shots, in your hand and on the move.
Not necessarily a treat like these others but more a condiment that enhances a treat. Brown Sauce is all the rage once you land in the U.K. Ask for a plain sausage roll or bacon bap and you’ll get blank stares from the server. Brooks Koepka is a massive fan, it appears. He did as Ko has done and even brought it up during his pre-Open press conference. Reason being, he had just had some on his breakfast.
(For those on the American side of the Atlantic, no, Brown Sauce is not simply BBQ sauce. That would be too easy, though they do look the same. It’s a little spicier where BBQ sauce is sweet.)
It was between the 12th and 13th holes at West Hill Golf Club, just southwest of London, where I tasted my first flapjack. I was tired, hungry, and needing something significant when a member of the Royal and Ancient Company of Dishonourable golfers handed me one. “Ah, a granola bar,” I said.
“No! Definitely not a granola bar,” I was told.
Turns out, I was wrong and they were right. The English flapjack is not a granola bar as it is not made from granola. It’s made from a concoction of oats, golden syrup, brown sugar and butter. That blend gels into a hard-packed square of sugary energy. It’ll fill you up, no problem, but not in the heavy way that a hot dog at the turn might. (As I recently learned, making your own flapjack requires a very fine-tuned attention to consistency — always lean toward more oats — but you can always recover from any missteps by loading it up with raisins or chocolate chips.)
Depending on your flapjack’s consistency, and the amount of hydrating you’ve been doing, you’ll probably be wanting to wash it all down with a drink. And luckily, the Brits have just the thing: Lucozade.
This magical potion is, of course, similar to Gatorade, and used to be known as Glucozade. (You get the point there: heavy in glucose.) Except Lucozade has been around for nearly four decades longer than the popular American beverage. You’ll find Lucozade Sport in a lot of halfway houses and pro shops, packaged in a similar way to Gatorade: in a plastic bottle with the squeeze top so you’re only releasing exactly what you want to consume. The original flavor is orange, but I’m here to tell you the best flavor is raspberry. Will it make you feel less like a rigid statue, as marketed in the advert below? You’ll have to fly across the Atlantic to find out.