It’s been a good week here in the aulde gray toon of St Andrews. My brother Bob from Grand Cayman and nephew David from Nassau were here and finished a nine round visit, playing some hidden gems (Crail, Downfield, Eden) as well as the mandatory Kingsbarns and Carnoustie. They enjoyed our Torrance and Devlin courses as much as any (we have great fairways and greens and interesting layouts, but only six years of history-more later). Overlapping with their visit we had some Mad River members staying at Fairmont. John Rolland and his sons and Dr. Morgan. They mixed their rounds with some gems as well as the Old Course, Kingsbarns and Muirfield. Happy to say they also enjoyed The Torrance!

Tomorrow Sam Torrance arrives. I played with Sam ** years ago, in his first professional win, the Bergamo Open in Italy. And he remembers it! since then Sam has gone on to win over 40 events and is better known as the winning Ryder Cup Captain. Sam played in 8 Ryder Cups! He was appointed MBE and after winning the 2002 Ryder Cup, he was awarded the OBE. And after all this he is still in the shadow of his father Bob Torrance, possibly the #1 teacher and coach in golf. Bob coaches Padraig Harrington and most other European Tour winners. One of his students, the very impressive Carly Booth (15 years old) spent some time with David Leadbeater but quickly returned to Bob. Sam co-designed one of our courses (The Torrance) and I look forward to spending some time with him next week as he plays in the DUNHILL. Our Fairmont St Andrews will be the host to many of the participants, sponsors and agents.

Another brilliant happpening is I have met one of the main characters in George Peper’s TWO YEARS IN St ANDREWS, Gordon Murray. Gordon is a golfer, caddie, businessman who lives in one of the famous flat$ to the right of the 18th on the Old Course. He is going to caddie for his friend Bill Murray next week. Bill spent some time in Jamaica when I was working there and I look forward to seeing him again. He is amazing, the Bill I know is a fine golfer who loves the game and it’s traditions, and then I see another Bill Murray playing at Pebble Beach (wearing the hat he had made from palm fronds poolside in Montego Bay). I hope they both show up.

Hard to get news from the golf world here but I have been told that Leon Decaire and Mac Wilson passed away this month. Both were great golf people, gone before their time. I am really thankfull that I have such a great wife who has allowed me to follow my dreams while we are “healthy” enough and able to remember the “trip”. When we retire we’ll say “been there, done that, where’s the library?”

Carolyn on the Swilken Bridge

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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