A privileged Pilgrimage for American golf enthusiasts

Sylvia Windrush, Kristi Meintz, guest; Campbell Savage, R&A historian; Pilgrim Foundation honorary president Sir Michael Bonnacllack OBE; Archie McDiarmid, Luvians bottleshop manager; Ed Hermann, Frank Sabad, Susan Hermann and Maries Cassell, Pilgrims chairman.
Sylvia Windrush, Kristi Meintz, guest; Campbell Savage, R&A historian; Pilgrim Foundation honorary president Sir Michael Bonnacllack OBE; Archie McDiarmid, Luvians bottleshop manager; Ed Hermann, Frank Sabad, Susan Hermann and Maries Cassell, Pilgrims chairman.

A ‘money can’t buy’ golfing package compiled by the St Andrews Pilgrim Foundation was grabbed by four American enthusiasts and this week they arrived in town to play out their week long adventure.

The charity – set up by Patrick Cassells in 1998 and now run by his wife Maries following his death – collates and then auctions a unique golfing package online.

Comprising tee times at some of the top Scottish courses such as Muirfield, Carnoustie, Old Course and Kingsbarns, accommodation, transport between courses and a healthy dose of local hospitality – the prize attracts significant bids from global golfers.

This year, the winning foursome – Kristi Meints, Frank Sabad, Susan and Ed Herrmann – paid £16,500 for the once in a lifetime trip.

“This is a trip not available from any golf tour company, so we went ahead with the bid and can’t wait to get out on the courses but also spend some time in the town and sample some of the local restaurants,” said Kristi.

The money is used by the Pilgrims to help restore and maintain the upkeep of the conservation area of the old town.

“For golf aficionados this is the prize,” said Maries, chairman of the Pilgrim Foundation. “Guests get the full St Andrews treatment and an experience that is not accessible any other way.”

Using contacts built up over the years and supported generously by businesses in the town such as The Fairmont and Luvians, auction bids continue to rise each year.

“The higher the bids, the more projects we can support in town,” said Sylvia Windrush, Pilgrim Foundation working party.

Since the Foundation’s inception in 1998 they have raised nearly half a million pounds and pumped it back into the town.