Striking up a conversation with his passengers is all part of the job for golf shuttle bus driver Callum ‘Bubba’ Campbell.
And it is what led to Callum setting himself an unusual endeavour - to talk to passengers hailing from every one of the 50 states in the USA,
It started in May last year when he was chatting to a golfer and asked where he was from.
“He said Hawaii and it was as I said I’d never met anyone from Hawaii before that it struck me that it would be good to try and speak to someone from every state,” said Callum, now better known to his passengers as Bubba, the alternative he suggested for Americans who had trouble pronouncing his real name.
A gregarious character to say the least, Callum, of Grange of Lindores, is one of the St Andrews Executive Travel drivers who provide the Links Trust shuttle service, carrying golfers on a circuit taking in the Links, R&A, Scores, Old Course Hotel and Eden Course.
As the months went on he was soon checking off the states at a steady rate and by the end of the season in October he had reached 36.
Picking up the challenge again this May, he was doing well until finally stumped for weeks by two very illusive states - Oregon and Rhode Island.
“I was going by place of birth rather than where they lived as I figured that even if I moved to America, I would still consider I was from Scotland,” he said.
However, in the best tradition of bus stories, after waiting for ages, the two came along almost together.
“First I got Rhode Island and then the next morning another American passenger got on,” Callum explained. “I said I don’t suppose you happen to be from Rhode Island do you - when he said ‘yes, actually I am’, I let out a whoop,”
Such was the excitement on the bus, that a passenger even called the Citizen to sing Callum’s praises.
Now he has set a new challenge - the provinces and territories of Canada.