Leader comment: From White House to clubhouse

Former US president Barack Obama plays a round of golf at the Old Course in St Andrews. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA
Former US president Barack Obama plays a round of golf at the Old Course in St Andrews. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA
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There was disappointment outside the Edinburgh International Conference Centre last night when the guest of honour at a charity dinner, Barack Obama, avoided fans at the front door by using an alternative entrance to slip quietly into the building.

However, we can hardly be surprised that the former President of the United States wasn’t to be spotted in a city centre street, to honour a well-publicised commitment, given the events of this week. But earlier in the day, Obama mixed with the public and shook hands with well-wishers on a visit to the Old Course at St Andrews, as a large crowd gathered to watch him play golf.

It is only five years since one of Obama’s predecessors, Bill Clinton, visited Edinburgh for a business dinner, after a round at St Andrews.

And it will surely not be long before Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, returns to Scotland, possibly combining a state visit with a check on the progress of re-development at his Turnberry golf resort.

Is there perhaps a theme emerging here? All hail the formidable pulling power of a rich heritage: Scotland, the home of golf.