It’s been so gusty and boisterous at Hoylake this week, last night’s official flag raising ceremony ahead of the 47th Walker Cup just about featured a windsock amid the billowing GB&I banners and US stars and stripes.

Nathaniel Crosby, the American captain who was a Walker Cup winner on the Wirral peninsula the last time it was held here in 1983, was perhaps tempted to hum his well-kent faither Bing’s golfing warble ‘Straight Down The Middle’ as he watched his charges attempt to harness the rambunctious conditions during the prolonged build up to the two-day shoot-out.

In the GB&I camp, meanwhile, Barassie’s Euan Walker summed up the general scene. “It’s been brutal most of the week,” gasped the Scot of a relentless buffeting that would buckle the beak of a cast iron weathercock.

“They say it’s going to be calmer when we get going so perhaps our practice rounds won’t mean much as it may be different clubs we are hitting. But we are all just itching to get going. We’ve been here since Sunday and that’s an unusual length of time to spend preparing at a venue.”

Walker and the rest of his coiled spring-like team-mates have not had any problems filling in the time on the links but away from the course there’s been enough to occupy the mind too.

Getting a military man in to rally the troops can be a popular tactic in team golf and the pearls of wisdom delivered by former Welsh Guard, Stewart Harris, has given Walker plenty of food for thought.

“He was in Afghanistan, Iraq, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, all over the place and he was pretty inspirational,” added Walker. “He’s obviously faced a lot of hardship throughout his career.

“We are going to be facing hardship this week – obviously nowhere near to what he has gone through – but a lot of the principles are applicable to golf. It’s really all about mental fortitude.

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“Whatever happens on the course, you can’t let anything alter your attitude for the next shot or the next hole.

“If the other team see you getting down then they are going to thrive on that. It’s all about showing no weakness and remaining strong and positive.”

Having lost 19-7 the last time the two sides met in Los Angeles in 2017, GB&I are keen to exploit the various advantages of their own backyard and win at home for the sixth time in the last seven encounters. It won’t be an easy task, of course.

The USA side have arrived with a side featuring five of the world’s top-10 although the aforementioned Crosby has opted to leave the much-heralded world amateur No 1, Cole Hammer, on the sidelines for this morning’s opening session of foursomes. A tactical masterstroke or a calamity of captaincy? Time will tell.

HeraldScotland:

Walker, meanwhile, will be plunged straight into action and will partner his compatriot, Sandy Scott, in the foursomes format.

Scott was barely one year old when the Walker Cup was held in his home town of Nairn back in 1999 but the various mementoes, memories and musings from that week have been hard for Scott to ignore growing up and simply fuelled his own fires of ambition.

“I learned so much about the Walker Cup from just being at Nairn, hearing people talk about it and having the history all over the walls,” said Scott.

Craig Watson, the GB&I captain, has left James Sugrue, the Amateur champion, out of the morning session although he did declare that all 10 of his players will get an outing on an opening day which also features eight singles matches.

“The foursomes are obviously very important because they set the tone,” said the East Renfrewshire stalwart. “You want an early lead.”

Let battle commence.