Monday 20 November 2017

Obama takes to the fairways at 'home of golf'

Barack Obama at St Andrews in Scotland yesterday. Photo: Getty
Barack Obama at St Andrews in Scotland yesterday. Photo: Getty

Conor Riordan

Former US president Barack Obama teed off his first visit to Scotland playing a round of golf in St Andrews.

Mr Obama could not resist a game on the Old Course at 'the home of golf' in Fife.

He spoke to business leaders in Edinburgh later when he gave a speech at a charity dinner.

Philanthropist Tom Hunter, who invited the former president to address the evening event, praised Mr Obama's golf skills.

"He played great. I don't play golf so I was simply doing the drinks and driving the buggy, but it was great fun," Mr Hunter said.

He added: "I'm not really someone who gets too excited - I'm on a pretty even keel - but today, yeah, this is an exciting one for sure."

The former president's caddy reassured him there was "no pressure, sir" before he teed off at St Andrews.

Mr Obama, who was teeing off last of the group, said: "Well, going by those shots I shouldn't feel any pressure."

Despite heavy security, he shook hands with spectators then visited a snack van and bought a drink before Mr Hunter took his photograph with the vendor.

The charity dinner was organised by the Hunter Foundation, which previously arranged for US politicians and actors, including Bill Clinton, Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney, to travel to Scotland.

Singer Annie Lennox, rock band Texas and comedian Kevin Bridges provided entertainment. Auction prizes included two walk-on parts in the next 'Fantastic Beasts' film and the naming rights to the Gleneagles Hotel American bar.

Irish Independent

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