Interest in this year’s Highland Golf Links Pro Am sponsored by Tomatin has come from far and wide. Those making the longest trip to join the field will be Jim Richardson and Jamie DiBoise, who are travelling from the USA, but they are no strangers to links golf.
Jim, a retired attorney, plays the bulk of his golf at Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island. NCC is an historic links course and one of the founding member clubs of the USGA. It hosted the first US Open Championship as well as the inaugural US Amateur. More recently it staged the 1995 US Amateur (won by Tiger Woods), the 2006 US Women's Open (won by Annika Sorenstam) and is scheduled to host the 2020 US Senior Men's Open.
Jim is also a member of The Aquidneck Club, formerly Carnegie Abbey, in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He has been coming to the Highlands since 2003 - visiting every year since 2008 - and is a member of the Carnegie Club at Skibo as well as being a Struie member at Royal Dornoch.
Jamie DiBoise, who recently retired from his law practice, is a member of CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California; Castle Pines Golf Club, in Castle Rock, Colorado; and Hudson National Golf Club, in Croton-On-Hudson, New York. He is also a member at Skibo.
Joining them is Cameron Crown, a physical trainer who is a member of Tain Golf Club. For many years Cameron caddied for Jim at the Skibo Pro Am and recently his mother married David Thompson, Skibo’s Director of Golf.
Their four-man team is completed by professional Erick Justesen, from San Jose, California, who has previously played on the Web.com Tour and the Canadian PGA Tour, but the Highland Golf Links Pro Am will mark his debut in Scotland.
“We are all very excited to be playing in the Highland Golf Links Pro Am”, says Jim. “The Highlands are truly one of the most magical places I have ever been to. It is remarkably beautiful, even if the weather sometimes doesn't fully cooperate.”
The US visitors will be joined by around 240 other players from across the UK and in Europe at the event, to be held from 30 September to 2 October and is one of the richest on the PGA in Scotland circuit.
The Pro Am, played over three of the finest links courses - Castle Stuart, Royal Dornoch and Nairn - is heading for a sell-out with almost all the 60 team spots snapped up.
The event has been staged since 2012 and this year has Tomatin returning as headline sponsor, as well as new corporate partners TaylorMade, Black Isle Brewery and System2.
There are some great prizes for the amateur players, while the pros are playing, not just for the first-place cheque, but a unique prize of a bottle of 50-Year-Old Tomatin single malt which has been bottled exclusively for the event with an estimated value of £10,000.