Andy Robertson and Bob MacIntyre tee up Burns Day get-together in Dubai

They are two of Scotland’s most-recognisable sports stars at the moment and mutual respect was thick in the Dubai air as Andy Robertson and Bob MacIntyre met for the first time.

Andy Robertson and Bob MacIntyre on the practice area at Emirates Golf Club after the Dubai Desert Classic Pro-Am. Picture: Kevin Kirk

The Burns Day get-together took place at the back of the practice area at Emirates Golf Club after the pair had played in the first of two pro-ams ahead of this week’s Dubai Desert Classic.

If he’d not left it so late in committing to a day on the golf course during a mid-winter break in the Premier League in England, Liverpool left-back Robertson might have been in the same group as his compatriot on the Majlis Course.

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Instead, he joined former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel in a group that also included two of his Anfield team-mates, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Liverpool and Scotland left-back Andrew Robertson hits his tee shot at the eighth on the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club during one of the pro-ams for the Dubai Desert Classic. Picture Warren Little/Getty Images.

“It’s not normal to get an opportunity like this, especially the international players as we are normally busy during any breaks,” Robertson told The Scotsman.

“So it’s nice to get out on the golf course and see how the pros go about their business and how it’s meant to be done. I had a good round this morning and enjoyed it.”

Robertson cut his golfing teeth at Cathcart Castle in Glasgow, joining there before he turned 10, and, like two other Liverpool legends, Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen, he tries to play whenever he can.

“Any time I go out, I try to enjoy it and have some fun and we certainly enjoyed it this morning with Charl,” he added. “It was incredible to watch how effortless he makes it look when I know it’s a very difficult sport.

Andy Robertson, who is on a mid-season break in the English Premier League, chats to The Scotsman's Martin Dempster in Dubai. Picture: Kevin Kirk

“Golf is a definite hobby for me. It’s something I enjoy. It’s a getaway from football and gives me a chance to forget about everything that happens on the football pitch. It allows me to switch off a bit during intense periods of football and today was certainly that.

“It’s a great sport and I love it. That’s why I was trying to pick up little things from Charl, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to replicate too much of it, to be honest.

“When I was younger, loving my time, incidentally, at Cathcart Castle, I tried to put a bit more pressure on myself when I was hitting golf shots, but now I just try to accept the bad ones and also the good ones.”

While it was a huge thrill for MacIntyre, a big Scotland fan, to meet the captain of the national team, there was no disguising that Robertson shared that feeling in return.

“He’s an incredible young talent,” he said of the Oban golfer. “He’s come through at the top level over the last couple of years and I really back him to win some top tournaments.

“Being a lefty, he’s incredible to watch, as I’ve done a few times on the TV, especially in The Masters, and I know how much he’s enjoying it.

“We’ve obviously got a history of good, young Scottish golfers and he’s just carrying it on. Hopefully he can win one of the big ones and I’d love him to do that.”

Robertson, who has already helped Liverpool win both the Premier League and Champions League, is set for an exciting spell with club and country when he swaps a golf ball for a football again.

“A mid-season break is a difficult one,” he said. “In the summer, you can completely switch off and get yourself re-energised and re-focused. But my mind is still on football just now.

“It’s nice to have this week off and to be able to spend it with my family and chill out a bit. But we are going back to a hectic period of football.

"The Champions League will be starting up, we’ve got the Carabao Cup Final, we’ve got the league and also Scotland games, so it’s a really intense period of time for me.

“That means it’s important to use this week properly but also stay focused, tuned and fit then really look forward to the last three or four months of the season as they can really be an exciting time for club and country.”

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