Four golfing pals enjoyed a round to remember when they bumped into the legendary Arnold Palmer on the course.
The group were about to play the 4th hole at Castle Stuart Golf Links near Inverness when they came across the seven-time Major winner sitting on a bench by the tee.
Palmer was visiting Castle Stuart, the venue for the 2016 Scottish Open, to discuss plans to build a second course on the site and his first in Scotland.
As he stopped at the 4th hole for pictures and interviews, he sat to watch the stunned group of David Walker (31), Euan Douglas (32), Oliver Abram (32) and Mark Lederer (30) tee off.
To add to the pressure on the golfers, Mr Palmer was accompanied by Mark Parsinen, Castle Stuart’s managing partner and co-designer.
After they nervously took their shots, the group sat with the golfing legend and had their photo taken for posterity by Mr Palmer’s wife Kit.
David said: “We were at Castle Stuart as part of a golf tour between watching the Scottish and British Opens. We were having a drink in the bar before we teed off and Mr Palmer walked in.
“The majority of the clubhouse managed to get a picture with him, but when we tried Mr Palmer was leaving to visit the course. The first three holes were spent discussing our missed opportunity and then we walked onto the 4th tee to find him.
“When he asked us to show him how to play the hole the nerves kicked in and I think we only managed one par between us.
“It was a very special experience and I’m sure when he asks us back we will do better!!”
The Arnold Palmer Group, which is investing in the current partnership at Castle Stuart Golf Links, is collaborating on building a second course on the shores of the Moray Firth.
The new venture will complement the existing course at Castle Stuart, designed by Mark Parsinen and Gil Hanse, and which has achieved worldwide acclaim since opening in 2009.
Leading architects from the Arnold Palmer Design Company (APDC) will work with the Castle Stuart team to build the course, to be called the Palmer Tribute as homage to the golfer’s love of Scotland and links courses.
Detailed plans will be submitted in August and it is envisaged work will start next spring, with the opening planned for 2019.
John Ross System2
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