Teeing off on a championship golf course is a challenge at the best of times – but the task is made even harder when one of the legends of the game is watching your every twitch.
That was the challenge for a group of players on a golfing holiday at Castle Stuart who came face to face with Arnold Palmer on the fourth tee.
The legendary golfer – nicknamed The King – was visiting the course to check on progress of his plans to build a second course on the site.
He stood and watched as David Walker, 31 from Gullane, Euan Douglas, 32, from Dalwhinnie, Oliver Abram, 32, from Edinburgh and Mark Lederer, 30, from Gleneagles took their shots.
To add pressure on the group Mr Palmer was accompanied by Castle Stuart’s managing partner Mark Marsinen and the golfer’s wife Kit Palmer.
Mr Walker 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 fourth 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 is currently in the process of developing plans for the second Castle Stuart site, which will be the first in Scotland associated with The King.
The new course, called the Palmer Tribute, on the shores of the Moray Firth will complement the existing links which will host the Scottish Open for a third time next year.
Detailed plans will be submitted in August and it is envisaged work will start next spring, with the opening planned for 2019.