PINEHURST, N.C. (WNCN) — A handful of members at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst have a rich history of Scottish ancestry.
That connection led a few of them to strike up a friendship with members of the Royal Dornoch Golf Club and through that friendship, a yearly golf event was born.
“We’ve gotten to know each other over a long period of time it’s like seeing old friends and it’s so much fun,” said CCNC Captain Ralph Ronalter.
The three-day event is similar to a Ryder Cup match only much more friendly. The teams play singles, foursomes, and four-balls with the home squad usually standing tall at the end of the competition.
“I don’t think we’ve ever managed to win it away from home,” said Royal Dornoch member Struan Robertson. “We’ve managed to retain it in Dornoch on a few occasions. If memory serves me there was one occasion when CCNC actually won it in Dornoch to their credit. But the style of golf we get here is completely different from links golf that we play back in Scotland.”
So what is the American’s excuse for not doing well when the event is held in Scotland?
“I think it has to do with the whisky,” said Ronalter.
That can certainly be a problem.
“The most competitive bit is who’s still standing in the bar after the games,” said Hamish Macrae. “Apart from that, it is very competitive.”
And everyone, it seems, wants to join in on the fun. And while some of the original members of the event are getting up there in age, don’t think for a minute the competition is about to come to an end.
“Yes, we set an age limit on it to get guys like me out at some point.” Said Ronalter. “The young guys all want to come in and play and they (Royal Dornoch) have young guys coming onto their team so yeah, we’ll keep it going as long as we can.”
But for now, those who were instrumental in getting the competition going in the first place, don’t seem to want to give it up just yet. There’s still more stories left to be told.
“Yes the whole thing is social golf and making friendships and maintaining them with our friends from across the pond,” said Macrae.