A golfer’s guide to the royal wedding

May 18, 2018

We get it. Royal wedding, royal schmedding. You’d rather wake up early and watch the grounds crew prepare Trinity Forest for the third round of the Byron Nelson than suffer through the regal trumpeting, flamboyant hats and pomp and circumstance of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials. But wait, don’t flip the channel just yet! If you know what to watch for, Harry and Meghan’s big day actually has all kinds of golfy subplots. Behold, our Golfer’s Guide to the Royal Wedding:

1. Rory!

Whether or not Rory McIlroy shows at St. George’s Chapel — he’s reportedly on the invite list — he and Markle are old pals. Back in 2014 she and Rors performed the ice-bucket challenge together, which naturally had the British tabs buzzing. Royal biographer Andrew Morton confirmed the couple are just friends. “Nothing in the whispers,” he told the Irish Examiner

2. There’s a golf course right outside the church

The nine-hole Royal Household Golf Club sits a mere par-4 away from St. George’s Chapel, on the grounds of the royal family’s Windsor Estate. No word on whether Harry and Meghan have played a scramble out there but Harry’s big bro, Prince William, reportedly enjoys the game — how couldn’t he? He attended college at the University of St. Andrews, a short walk from the Old Course. 

3. Speaking of Prince William…

That scar on his head? That was courtesy of a childhood friend of William’s who whacked him in the noggin with … a golf club. “We were on a putting green and the next thing you know there was a seven-iron and it came out of nowhere and it hit me in the head,” William revealed in 2009. The blemish has become known as William’s “Harry Potter scar” because it resembles the mark left on young Harry’s head when Lord Voldemort tried to off him. 

4. Harry has hung with Lydia Ko

The pair met in Orlando a couple of years ago at the Invictus Games, a sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women. “It is such an honor to meet Prince Harry,” Ko said. Presumably the feeling was mutual. 

5. A Kenyan golf resort is charging people $10,000 to watch a telecast of the royal wedding 

Steep? Sure, but, hey, the package — offered by the Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club in Nairobi — does come with a two-night stay and a helicopter ride to Mount Kenya, according to CNN. Couples are encouraged to attend the viewing party in their “finest wedding guest attire.” 

6. The wedding will cost roughly the same amount that Matt Kuchar has banked in PGA Tour earnings

That’s a lot of clams — 43 million of them, in fact. (For what it’s worth, two other players are sitting alongside Kooch with $43 million in career earnings: Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker.) The wedding flowers alone will cost $130,000, which is roughly what the 21st-place finisher takes home at the Masters.   

7. The best stick in the Royal Family?

That title goes to Prince Andrew (the Queen’s second son), who plays to a single-digit handicap and was captain of Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in 2003-04. Not that his hobby has been roundly endorsed. According to the Daily Telegraph, when Andrew hired a private jet to attend the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie, the Labour MP Tony Banks described Andrew as a “useless, overweight parasite.” Years later Andrew spent £32,000 to employ the RAF to fly him to St. Andrews. (Good by us, Andy!) [image:14141626]

8. So…any chance of golf on the honeymoon?

Sorry, unlikely. The location of the couple’s post-wedding getaway is unconfirmed but a source did tell Travel+Leisure that Harry and Meghan are planning a trip to the Hoanib Valley Camp, in Namibia, “an elegant, intimate affair,” the Hoanib website says, “that immerses you into the wilds of the desert.” Sadly, nary a golf course in sight.