Long gone are the days when the gloriously titled Wimbledon Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews personified stuffed-shirt Britishness. As custodians of those two magnificent sporting institutions, the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and the Open Championship, they gained a reputation for doing things by the book, old boy. Players who entered for Wimbledon had to abide by the 'all white' rule, which Andre Agassi did with tremendous sartorial effect. Golfers who qualified for the British Open had to bring along their jackets or they would not have been allowed in the locker room. And, of course, amateurs were referred to as 'Mr' and professionals - they did it for money, perish the thought - went by their surnames. Times and traditions have changed, though. 'All white' has become 'predominantly white', golf writers in torn jeans roam the clubhouse at St Andrews and Royal Troon and all players are known by their surnames. Wimbledon, of course, have had a couple of 'people's Sundays' when the doors were thrown open to the public and they responded by creating a Wembley cup final atmosphere on Centre Court. And at this year's Open, children under 18 have been allowed in free to watch their idols, an experiment which seems to have gone well. But there is one regulation that is as tight as the strings on Sampras' racquet or the stomach of a golfer on the first tee. Bookmakers, the British equivalent of the Jockey Club, will never be allowed within the confines of Wimbledon or on course at a British Open. While millions of dollars are bet on the outcome of both events - bookmakers were offering a measly 6-1 on Tiger Woods before the start of last week's Open - and the organisers could demand huge sums from the big firms like Ladbrokes and William Hill, they continue to bar the doors to the odds men. So why, Royal & Ancient secretary Michael Bonallack was asked, is this guideline kept resolutely intact while others have been swept aside by the tide of progress? 'If you had a betting shop actually in site somebody could just go and put a big bet on a particular player and then find themselves in a situation where they could kick a ball one way or another way - it might become too tempting for them,' reasoned Bonallack. 'Golf is such a game that you could shout at the top of somebody's swing. There are so many ways you can put people off. It just does not sit well with having a betting shop right on the premises.' What Bonallack did not address was the possibility of someone putting a bundle on Greg Norman in the High Street bookies next to the course and then thinking of devilish ways to put Tiger Woods off his game. Come to think of it, maybe that's what the train driver, who honked at Tiger while he was on the tee at the Railway Hole during the first round, was up to.