Leader comment: From White House to clubhouse

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.

Former US president Barack Obama plays a round of golf at the Old Course in St Andrews. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA

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.

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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.