Today I chat to Richard Wax and Roger McStravick from The St Andrews Golf Festival http://www.standrewsgolffestival.com at the Dunvegan Hotel. This will be golfs first-ever organised golf festival of its kind, and will take place between 28th March and 1st of April 2012 in this historic town where golf has been played for over 600 years.
This creative Festival, which hopes to attract international visitors, has an impressive schedule of events, exhibitions, tours, lectures, films and skills competitions planned for the launch of this five-day extravaganza.
Exhibitions to showcase the history of the game and some of golf’s most distinguished champions will be held at the St Andrews Golf Hotel and the Best Western Scores Hotel in St. Andrews and will include tributes to: Old Tom Morris, Bobby Jones, Seve Ballesteros, the History of Golf in St. Andrews, Keepers of the Green, the Ryder Cup, Womens Golf and much more.
Speakers at the Festival include David Joy (on Old Tom Morris and the golfers of his era), David Hamilton (on artisan golf), Lewine Mair (on the History of Women’s Golf), Mungo Park (on Willie Park Snr), Steven Reid (on Bobby Jones) plus book signing by authors Ivan Morris, John Hagen, David Hurdie, and Henry Lord. There are also art galleries by Graeme Baxter, Richard Chorley, Harold Riley, Joe Austen, Hugh Dodd and David Joy. There will be golf films played at venues across St Andrews including at the exhibitions plus an exclusive viewing of unseen footage from the outtakes of the BBC film on Seve Ballesteros, which will be introduced by the producer and director of the programme, Jo McCusker.
There will be lots of daily activities including: a golf tour around St Andrews golf spots by Mr Jimmy Bone (aka Old Tom’s caddy in the theatre production of Old Tom Morris); putting competitions on the Links Trust putting green for charity; hickory golf; guided walks around the historic sites of St Andrews by a Blue Badge tourist guide; golf simulators and charity fundraising for the Seve Ballesteros Foundation.
On Saturday evening, the St. Andrews Golf Festival Awards will be held in St. Andrews University’s historic Younger Hall, where Bobby Jones, Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and other icons of the game received honorary degrees from the ancient university.
All exhibitions, exclusive talks, book signings and gala night events are free for everyone. The Festival line up is constantly growing and further ideas include “Street Golf” in the historic lanes of St. Andrews to re-enact the game of Sillybodkins that was played during Old Tom’s day with sticks and old corks.