ROBERT Patterson, Head Greenkeeper at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, has revealed an unusual assistant - a blind Border Collie dog.
Five-year-old Skye - the only dog permitted on the golf course - lost his sight after an accident on the course, due to host the Scottish Open this weekend, when he was six months old.
And Robert, who has held the position of Head Greenkeeper for close to 20 years, has revealed that this weekend’s competition will be tinged with sadness, after the passing of Skye’s ‘guide dog’ Brodie earlier this year.
He said: “Skye’s a constant companion and is always by my side. When the accident happened nothing could be done to repair Skye’s damaged optic nerves but there was never a question of what we were going to do – we just adapted life at home and work to suit him and now you’d never know he was blind.
“Although he’s lost his sight he knows every bunker on the course and uses his sense of smell and hearing to get around.
“Sadly our other border collie, Brodie, passed away a few weeks ago at the grand age of 15.
“Brodie was a real character and a support to Skye as he wore a bell on his collar to help Skye find his way around.”
Skye and Brodie are due to appear in adverts for Scottish Open sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management, which will be broadcast in the USA during coverage of the event.
Tens of thousands of spectators are expected at the course for the Scottish Open with players including Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Nick Faldo and Aberdeen native Paul Lawrie set to do battle for a share of the £3 million prize money.
Robert added: “Holding the Scottish Open here at Royal Aberdeen has to be one of my proudest moments. We all feel a tremendous sadness that Brodie isn’t here for the Scottish Open – but Skye won’t be far away from the action.”
• The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open takes place at Royal Aberdeen from 10-13 July 2014. Adult tickets are available for each day of the event from £30 and a season ticket for four days costs £70 (booking fees apply). Tickets can be purchased at europeantour.com