Barack Obama charms golfing crowds during St Andrews visit

Barack Obama charms golfing crowds during St Andrews visit

Former US president Barack Obama has teed off his first visit to Scotland with 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 is expected to speak to business leaders in Edinburgh later in the day when he gives a speech for The Hunter Foundation.

Philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter was among the players involved in the game.

The former president's caddy reassured him there was "no pressure, sir" before he teed off on the third hole.

Mr Obama, who was hitting the ball last, said: "Well, going by those shots I shouldn't feel any pressure."

Despite heavy security, he wandered over to the crowds who had been following him on the course and shook hands with spectators before returning to his game.

He also visited a snack van and bought a drink before Sir Tom took his photograph with the vendor.

The Old Course was not closed off to other players and was being used by other members of the public.

The Democrat had earlier touched down at Edinburgh Airport on Friday morning, according to reports, before heading to the course.

He will later return to the Scottish capital for the charity dinner.

Mr Obama, who served eight years in the White House, will address business leaders and take part in a Q&A at the evening event organised by The Hunter Foundation, set up by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter.

Barack Obama charms golfing crowds during St Andrews visit

Tickets for tables of 10 went on sale from about £5,000 and quickly sold out.

Profits are to be split between children's charities in Scotland and the Obama Foundation, set up by the former president and his wife Michelle.

Security is expected to be tight in Edinburgh as police step up resources around major events in the wake of the Manchester bombing.

Singer Annie Lennox, rock band Texas and comedian Kevin Bridges will provide entertainment at the event and young people will also be involved, with 13-year-old Mila Stricevic from Glasgow to read a poem on the night after winning a schools competition.

Auction prizes on the night include two walk-on parts in the next Fantastic Beasts film from the Harry Potter franchise and the naming rights to the Gleneagles Hotel American bar.

The Hunter Foundation has previously arranged for US politicians and actors, including Bill Clinton, Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney, to come to Scotland.

Barack Obama charms golfing crowds during St Andrews visit

Announcing the visit in April, Sir Tom said: ''From the south side of Chicago to the White House has been an epic, historic journey and it will be a true honour to hear that story from the man who made that journey.

''We are both truly proud and delighted to be hosting the 44th president of the United States in Scotland at this event.''

PA

More in this Section

EU envoy ‘disagreed with Trump’s order on Ukraine policy’EU envoy ‘disagreed with Trump’s order on Ukraine policy’

Duckenfield had opportunity to change Hillsborough match plans, court toldDuckenfield had opportunity to change Hillsborough match plans, court told

'I am off to the dentist': Paul Gascoigne ‘looking forward to getting on with life’ after jury clears him'I am off to the dentist': Paul Gascoigne ‘looking forward to getting on with life’ after jury clears him

Prolonged exposure to blue light may speed up ageing process, researchers sayProlonged exposure to blue light may speed up ageing process, researchers say


Lifestyle

You have a long half-term break ahead of you all, and there’s only so much screen time anyone in the family can handle. Everyone is going to need a book-break at some point or another.We reviewed some of the best new books to keep kids entertained over half-term

Sexual politics, snideput-downs and family rivalries are fuelling the trouble brewing in a small Midlands town.Charlie Murphy and Pat Shortt star in new Irish film 'Dark lies the Island'

Robert Hume tells of the eccentric MP for Athboy, Co. Meath – born 300 years ago this month – who thought he was a teapot, and was afraid his spout might break off.A strange brew of a man: The MP for Meath who believed he was a teapot

Ladysbridge and District Flower and Garden Club will meet on Monday at 8pm in Garryvoe Hotel.Gardening Notes: Your one-stop guide to the week's events

More From The Irish Examiner