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Books
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • Men in Green
    Men in Green
    by Michael Bamberger
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
  • Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    Unplayable Lies: (The Only Golf Book You'll Ever Need)
    by Dan Jenkins

    Kindle Edition

Classics
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

On the golf course, a man may be the dogged victim of inexorable fate, be struck down by an appalling stroke of tragedy, become the hero of an unbelievable melodrama, or the clown in a side-splitting comedy--any of these within a few hours, and all without having to bury a corpse or repair a tangled personality.  BOBBY JONES


    

Monday
Sep102007

Proving He's No Monty, McEvoy Demonstrates Perspective, Wisdom

Lewine Mair reports on the mature insights and realistic perspective of the now former amateur golfer.
Peter McEvoy, the former Walker Cup captain, does not exonerate himself from blame when he accuses amateur officialdom in the UK of "negligence."

Though he believes that the golf on offer to the elite squads in GB and Ireland is nowadays on a par with that at an American university, he worries that there is no educational process going hand in hand with the sport. "Negligence," said McEvoy, "is not too strong a word in that we are requiring people to play full-time in the knowledge that there isn't room for them all to make a living. We're helping to eliminate everything else from their lives."

McEvoy points to how more and more youngsters are seeing the elite programmes as an option to university in that they can sign on for a single year. In contrast, someone like the 22-year-old Rhys Davies, who was playing in the Walker Cup at the weekend, will have spent four years at his American college.
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McEvoy feels duty-bound to remind these young men that they are taking a risk. "What," he asks, "will they do with themselves if they pick up an injury or lose interest?"
Monday
Sep102007

Let The Practice Begin!

Stan Awtrey says they're rolling back the tarps and letting the boys take a little BP. He also reviews other past tournaments that have had green health issues.

Monday
Sep102007

Glimpses of East Lake's Greens

EastLakemowing.jpgAtlanta-based photographer and new blogger Rob Matre has posted 42 images of East Lake's greens. Frankly, I expected much worse. Yes, a few of the greens look horrific, but many others only appear to have minor issues on the out edges.

More offensive is that blinding bunker sand, but that's just me.

Sunday
Sep092007

Poor Sergio...

After collecting win No. 60 on the PGA Tour, Tiger Woods:
Q. Stricks said he was pretty sure when you made your putt on 12 you looked back at them to make sure they were watching.

TIGER WOODS: No, I didn't do a Sergio (laughter).
Sunday
Sep092007

"This way they can rub elbows with a lot of different players, hear them tell stories and get to see them under different circumstances."

Stan Awtrey says the Tour considered moving the Super Bowl to TPC Sugarloaf, but decided to stay at East Lake and it's dead greens.

Tour player Robert Allenby was not sympathetic to the club's troubles. "They've had all year to prepare and to say it's not ready is pretty disappointing, especially for a major event. We've come down to the final event and it's a non-event. It could be Mickey Mouse. Who knows what the greens are going to be like?"

Wow, can't imagine why his caddy quit on him.

And this from the Tour's Henry Hughes

With no competition permitted, the pro-am format has been altered. All 30 players — including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson — will be required to take part in at least one portion of what's being called an "Ultimate Tour Clinic."

"In a typical pro-am, you spend the day with one guy," Hughes said. "This way they can rub elbows with a lot of different players, hear them tell stories and get to see them under different circumstances."

Yes, circumstances where they are dreading the day even more than a typical pro-am. 

Sunday
Sep092007

Tiger Is One Last Good Week From Adding More Deferred Compensation He Does Not Need

fedexcuplogo.jpgBob Harig says it's good for the FedEx Cup that Tiger Woods is leading, and while I understand the logic ratings-wise, is anyone else finding it hard to get excited about the prospect of Tiger or Phil adding a droplet of cash to their swollen portfolios? At least with Steve Stricker you have someone who $10 million will mean something too.

To put it another way, would the FedEx Cup be more interesting if the format allowed more players, including some underdogs, to have a chance of winning it all this week? 

Sunday
Sep092007

"I've never seen such naked courage on a golf course before."

golf.jpgMike Aitken reports on the thrilling U.S. Walker Cup win at Royal County Down.
If GB&I couldn't, in the end, overcome the handicap of enduring a 4-0 whitewash in the morning foursomes, it hardly seemed fair to summarise their 5-2 fightback in the singles as heroic failure. The determined and sure-footed quality of the home side's golf at the end perhaps deserved better than losing 12-11. As Peter McEvoy, the former captain of GB&I, observed: "I've never seen such naked courage on a golf course before."
Oh I don't know, have you seen those streakers at the Open Championship?

There is also this Craig Smith story on the USGA's official site, these notes and John Mummert's images from the day.

Sunday
Sep092007

Reason No.37 That Your Personal Trainer Should Always Be Close By...

...or your Pilates instructor, or your HeartMath guide or your...no, the agent wouldn't pick up the bag.

Bob Harig explains how having his trainer watching came in handy for Robert Allenby after his caddy quit mid-round.

 

Sunday
Sep092007

"One torture is substituted for another."

Reader Jack Sprat correctly notes that with the greens demise at East Lake comes the Tour's makeshift clinic/pro-am, where "one torture is substituted for another."

Sounds like a great chance for the boys to interract with MBA types...

Wednesday pro-am
Despite the cancellation, tournament officials have scheduled activities for Wednesday to bring a unique and worthwhile experience to pro-am participants.  All 30 players in THE TOUR Championship field will honor their commitment to the pro-am by participating in a Q&A session in the morning, followed by the “Ultimate TOUR Clinic,” in which amateurs will cycle through three stations with PGA TOUR professionals for tips and instruction in driving, chipping and putting.  The day will conclude for amateurs at a luncheon and additional Q&A session with the TOUR players.

And just in case you boys thought you might fly back to Atlanta on Wednesday...think again, that's a morning clinic!

On a serious note, if the concept of playoff pro-am's was in fact one of Phil's beefs, this will not exactly make him more agreeable, will it?

Wait, no, Phil loves corporate America and interacting with pro-am types. I don't know what got into me.

Sunday
Sep092007

"Now there's room for everybody else to pile on. The timing could not have been worse."

Steve Elling looks at the odd manner in which the PGA Tour notified players about the East Lake greens and has this from Jim Furyk:
 "My thoughts?" veteran Jim Furyk said Sunday morning, weighing his words carefully as he looked at the player advisory posted on the Cog Hill locker room bulletin board. "It's very poor timing. There's already a lot of rumblings and negativity about how things have been working out already.

"Now there's room for everybody else to pile on. The timing could not have been worse. Those are my thoughts."

Sunday
Sep092007

"Another innovation is the fact that the old Western Open has a new set of wheels."

If the Chicagoans weren't fired up, this John Maginnes piece from PGATour.com ("Playoff format overcoming criticism") ought to get Western Open fans riled up:

But the old Western Open changed its stripes this year. The inaugural BMW Championship brings a new name, as well as a new face to this historic event. From the stark white trimming of the corporate tents and grandstands to the expo village filled with vintage cars, this tournament has a new look. In typical BMW fashion, the tournament has taken on a sleeker, more modern, tone while keeping its traditions and history close. Another innovation is the fact that the old Western Open has a new set of wheels.

On Sunday, it will fill up the tank and head south where it will set up shop in St. Louis. On the even-numbered years the BMW Championship will alternate between the city with the arch and Indianapolis, returning to Chicago in between.

See that change stuff is progress.

Sunday
Sep092007

Issue Of FedEx Cup Scheduling Intensity Resolved!

Well, this year anyway.

Does anyone remember something like this happening before? It is hard to imagine that keeping thirty players and a pro-am off the East Lake greens could make that big of a difference, but it's admirable of the Tour for trying everything it can to ensure good uh, Super Bowl conditions. A ban on spikes would have been nice too.

From the PGA Tour:

Practice rounds restricted, pro-am canceled at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola to ensure best possible playing conditions for tournament

Course closed to public until Thursday, tickets to be honored

ATLANTA, Sept. 9, 2007 – As a result of severe heat and drought in the Atlanta area this summer, the bentgrass putting green conditions at East Lake Golf Club, site of next week’s TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola, have suffered.  In order to present the best possible playing conditions for THE TOUR Championship, the final event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, tournament officials and the PGA TOUR have restricted the players’ practice rounds and canceled Wednesday’s pro-am.

“We are working diligently to improve and present the golf course in the best condition possible for next week’s tournament,” said Henry Hughes, executive vice president and chief operating officer, PGA TOUR.  “While restricting players’ practice rounds and canceling the pro-am is not an ideal scenario, we felt this was the best decision in order to allow us a few more days to prepare the greens for the event.

“The weather has improved this past week, and the forecast is for continued good weather through Wednesday, allowing for additional growth and recovery of the bentgrass.  Despite the challenges, we are confident that THE TOUR
Championship will provide an exciting, dramatic culmination to the FedExCup season.”

Tickets
With the course closed to the public until Thursday, all Tuesday and Wednesday tickets will be honored Thursday through Sunday.  The tournament will staff the general parking lot at Turner Field to exchange spectators’ tickets, as well as add additional volunteers and staff to the admission gate on-site.

All Tuesday and Wednesday tickets that are marked “Clubhouse” or “Delta Crown Room Championship Club” will be honored; however, those will be exchanged for GROUND tickets.  These tickets were only sold on a weekly basis, and therefore, those purchasers will also have a ticket that they can use for Thursday - Sunday.

Restricted practice rounds
Players will not be permitted to practice on the greens at East Lake Golf Club, although they and their caddies can walk the course Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, hit drives on par 4s and par 5s and approach shots on par 5s if they do not reach the greens.  The driving range, putting green and short game practice area at East Lake Golf Club will be available to players all week.

Wednesday pro-am
Despite the cancellation, tournament officials have scheduled activities for Wednesday to bring a unique and worthwhile experience to pro-am participants.  All 30 players in THE TOUR Championship field will honor their commitment to the pro-am by participating in a Q&A session in the morning, followed by the “Ultimate TOUR Clinic,” in which amateurs will
cycle through three stations with PGA TOUR professionals for tips and instruction in driving, chipping and putting.  The day will conclude for amateurs at a luncheon and additional Q&A session with the TOUR players.

East Lake greens, Atlanta weather
The strain of grass at East Lake Golf Club is Crenshaw creeping bentgrass. It was introduced in the Southeast in the 1990s and offers a superb putting surface most of the year, but when temperatures reach the 90s, the greens can be susceptible to more diseases, shorter roots and dry spots.

During the month of August, Atlanta reported record temperatures of 90-plus degrees for 28 days, including 10-straight days with temperatures reaching or exceeding 100 degrees.

The average daily high in Atlanta in August was 96.5 degrees, compared to a normal average of 87.9, and the average daily low was 75.2, compared to a normal average of 69.9.  New high-temperature records in Atlanta were set
on nine days last month.  The area experienced 25 consecutive days without rain, and year-to-date rainfall is at 20.90 inches, a deficit of 17.84 inches compared to average rainfall totals.

Plans for 2008
Although weather patterns may improve in future years, the PGA TOUR has reached an agreement with East Lake Golf Club to replace the bentgrass greens with Bermuda grass before the 2008 TOUR Championship.

Saturday
Sep082007

Walker Cup Day 1

PMHOME163.jpgJohn Huggan says the first day of Walker Cup play was enthralling

David Normoyle focuses on the United States' lone morning foursome's win.

While this unbylined game story has all of the results and Sunday lineups.

The USGA offers a photo gallery from the day and it looks like things got pretty intense out there. They also posted these notes.

Saturday
Sep082007

The PGA!?

The Washington Post's Michael Wilbon appears to pen a column suggesting FedEx Cup remedies, but I stopped when it became apparent that he and his esteemed paper were going to insist on calling the PGA Tour the PGA. Just when you thought every sportswriter and paper knew there was a difference...

Saturday
Sep082007

Huggan On Clarke

John Huggan on Darren Clarke's life since losing his wife a little over a year ago:
Another understandable factor in Clarke's on-course woes this year has been dealing with the first anniversary of his wife's passing. He and the boys were back home in Portrush for two weeks' holiday last month, in the middle of which fell the fateful day.

"To be honest, in the build-up to the anniversary I wasn't at the races at all," he says, his eyes suddenly focused on a point far away.

"It was all a bit much for me. But then, when August 13 did come around [one day before his own birthday], it was almost as if a wee bit of weight was lifted off my shoulders. By then I had done every birthday, every anniversary, the first Christmas, so all the bits and pieces had passed. I'd been through everything once.

"We all went up to the grave together. It's not as if I shush anyone when Heather's name comes up. The kids and I talk about her all the time. It would be wrong to exclude her name from conversation. In the car the other day Connor asked if I remembered when mummy was alive and we did this or that. That's the way they talk. Sometimes I get a lump in my throat but I wouldn't have it any other way. I want them to remember their mummy.

"I went up to the grave on my own for quite a bit of time late in the day. There were a lot of flowers, including a lovely big bouquet from Padraig and Caroline Harrington. I'll never forget that gesture, it was just so nice of them to think of Heather."

Friday
Sep072007

Walker Cup Web Sites

CoursephotoZ0900.jpgYes, there are two official sites for this weekend's Walker Cup at the splendid Royal County Down (no, television does not do it justice).

The R&A has their own site while the USGA also features an original site (including John Mummert's image posted to the left).

According to the USGA, the Walker Cup will be televised on ABC from 2-4 EST Sunday. I'd check local listings though just in case.  After all it may be on ESPN on ABC.

Friday
Sep072007

"The atmosphere hasn't been quite the same."

Good news for the Commissioner: fewer people are talking about Phil's defection.

Bad news: because everyone is talking about the lousy attendance and lack of buzz at normally amped up Cog Hill.

Read Four-putt posted a few thoughts on this, while Steve Elling wrote that Chicagoans can be comforted by the fact that 2008 will likely see more star defections at all of the season ending playoff events.

Chicago was a fantastic musical, and the media types have been crowing and dancing in both unison and perfect harmony to express their outrage that a burgh with 10 million folks will be left holding the bag in two of the next three years.

Let's not have a Mrs. O'Leary-sized cow, OK?

As much critical fire as the FedEx Cup plan has drawn from fans and sponsors for failing to deliver on its implied promises to put Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els on the same stage over four consecutive weeks, the real issues are fast becoming apparent.

By next year, the fields from this season's inaugural FedEx run are going to feel like the stars were present in perfect attendance. The potential potholes for 2008 with regard to scheduling, barring an organizational miracle, make this year's foibles seem like minor nuisances.

While the 2008 schedule hasn't been formally released, based on its likely structure, top players will be asked to compete seven times in an eight-week span, culminating with the greatest cauldron of pressure in the game, the Ryder Cup. When it comes to finding excuses not to play next year, gentlemen, start your search engines.

Meanwhile, Tiger was asked about the crowds, after getting some hard hitting questions out of the way...

Q. Did you go home from Boston or did you come straight here?
TIGER WOODS: I came straight here.

Q. Did you wear that shirt last week?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah.

Q. When is the last time you wore a shirt twice?
TIGER WOODS: I wear it all the time, actually. I'm not that way.

Q. I know it sounds really gay, but I recognized it (laughter). It looks good.
TIGER WOODS: Thanks. I love it.

Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Q. How were the crowds today?

TIGER WOODS: There were a few more people. Still, it's not the same as the Western, that's for sure. Granted, the weather was a little sketchy, so maybe they didn't come out because of that.

And I thought this was interesting. It seems Tiger thought so too:

Q. This is a public course, you obviously play really well here, and some of the other public courses you play really well. Is that a coincidence? Do you play well at these types of places? Do you feel at home? It's an odd question, but you grew up and cut your teeth on them.

TIGER WOODS: I certainly did not grow up on a country club, that's for sure. Yeah, public courses is where it was at. I grew up on a par-3 course, just with -- the longest hole was 150 yards I believe it was. Granted, I couldn't get there -- I used to hit driver, 7-iron when I first started playing it. That's what we did. The great thing with playing Southern Cal junior golf is you got a chance to play country clubs every now and then, and it was like the coolest thing in the world. Oh, my God, the greens are great here, that kind of thing.
I don't know, that's a good question.

Q. What was the par-3 course?

TIGER WOODS: Hartwell. It's in Long Beach.

Back to the sensitive subject at hand...

 Q. Do you see any difference in the tournament from last year to this year with the tournament having BMW as a sponsor?

TIGER WOODS: Well, the crowds haven't really come out this year so far. The atmosphere hasn't been quite the same. Granted, we moved the tee times up yesterday and then the bad weather today, so it's been kind of a double dip against the tournament. But hopefully this weekend people will come out and we'll get some great weather, and hopefully we can play some good golf and get everyone fired up.
Friday
Sep072007

Norman Begins Brand Rebuiding By Sitting With Chrissy Even Though He Really Doesn't Like Tennis

1786736.jpgHave you seen those shots of the Shark sitting with Chris Evert at the U.S. Open, looking like he's just been told that video of his hemorroid surgery is going to be posted on YouTube?

Of course, it looks like he's about to write a really big check judging by the smirk on his ex-wife's attorney (left).

From the Palm Beach Post:

As a Stuart judge declared the marriage all but dissolved and gave back Laura Norman her maiden name of Andrassy, the 58-year-old left the courthouse in tears hidden by thick, rhinestoned Chanel sunglasses.

"I don't know how they all sleep at night," she sobbed, referring to Norman and his attorneys. "I just don't know."

Seconds later, it was Norman's turn to leave the courthouse. The Great White Shark smiled.

"I'm happy," he said, impeccable in a dark suit and light-blue tie that matched his eyes. "Justice was served."

The two-time British Open winner, 52, then talked enthusiastically of his future, in which he could see himself settle quickly with another woman and repair the damage that the divorce did to his image.

Norman took umbrage with a recent Page Two report on court documents that showed Laura tried to buy lunch in Manhattan last month - and found her credit cards canceled by Greg's people.

"There were some things said during this process that weren't true," said Norman, who's romantically linked to former tennis superstar Chris Evert. "I never cut off her credit cards. Some damage was done with sensational headlines. I got questions from people. There's always two sides to a story."
Friday
Sep072007

Tiger Lands With Gatorade Which Thankfully Sponsors No USGA Events...

...therefore, no surprise clinics, not yet anyway.

Golfweek's Scott Hamilton shares the deal, uh, dynamics ($100 million).

Friday
Sep072007

The Donald Fires Another Fazio

Don't worry Tommy, it's a compliment really. And just think, you'll never have to sell your soul and pose for a photo like this one from Golf Digest:

fazio%20and%20trump.jpg Anyway, the release on The Donald's last ditch effort to save his Scotland project all while luring the R&A by hiring their Open Championship Doctor. 

DONALD J. TRUMP HIRES FAMED ARCHITECT DR. MARTIN HAWTREE TO CREATE WORLD-CLASS GOLF COURSE IN SCOTLAND

Aberdeen site will set new standards in the ‘home of golf’

New York, NY: 6th September, 2007, Donald J. Trump is teaming up with famed British golf course architect Dr. Martin Hawtree on plans to create what Mr. Trump hopes to be the finest golf course anywhere in the world.  With its majestic sand dunes stretching four miles along the sea in Aberdeenshire, Mr. Trump decided that Martin Hawtree was perfect to transform the Great Dunes of Scotland into a world class championship golf course, with construction scheduled to being in January, 2008.  

The course will be a Martin Hawtree Signature Design. Hawtree Limited, of Woodstock, England belongs to the longest continuous golf course architectural practice in the world. Hawtree, consulted by the R&A on some of the Open Championship links, is regarded as the leading authority of links golf and because of this coupled with Mr. Trump’s passion for building a true world class British Links Course in North East Scotland, Hawtree has been appointed as the lead architect on this development. He is world-renowned for his work at Royal Birkdale, Portmarnock, Lahinch and Carnoustie to name but a few.

“Martin Hawtree brings a distinct vision and flair to every course he touches,” Mr. Trump said.  “His work is impeccable.  He and I share such a passion for links golf and the tradition of the game is evident in the golf courses he designs. This is ideal for Trump International Golf Links, Scotland. This piece of land is so special and my relationship with Scotland is so special, that I wanted to work with the world’s best links course architect to deliver Trump International Golf Links, Scotland”

Hawtree said, “I am intrigued by balance in the composition of a golf hole, trying to ensure that the wider landscape surrounding a hole, in the case of this project towering dunes, is fully balanced by great playing interest within the fairway and green; that the one does not dwarf the other and that the interest is in some way generated by and in complete harmony with the surroundings.”
Wait, has Desmond Muirhead inhabited Martin's body?
A third-generation golf course architect, Hawtree has continued a family legacy that began in 1912.  The Hawtree list of courses built, reconstructed and/or consulted on totals more than 750, with partnerships and collaborations with historic golfing greats J.H. Taylor and James Braid.  The Hawtree history – begun by Frederick George Hawtree, who was joined by his son, Frederick William Hawtree in 1938 -- is revered within the industry for its experience and knowledge that are the heart of a multi-disciplinary practice known throughout the world.

Donald J Trump’s passion for Scotland stems from his pride in his Scottish roots.  His mother, Mary MacLeod, grew up on the Island of Lewis in Stornoway where her first language was Gaelic, before moving to New York City at age 20.  His decision to build the Trump International Golf Links, Scotland is the fulfillment of a long-held dream.