Friendship Cup sends Utah golfers to Scotland
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (ABC4 Sports) – The Friendship Cup began a few years ago when a group led by former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt and his brother Mark invited a group of Scottish golfers to come to Utah to play a few games.
Former Governor Gary Herbert was part of this first event.
“I was governor at the time and had the opportunity to host them at the Salt Lake Country Club when they first came in 2019,” Herbert said. “The intention was to come back in 2020, but a funny thing happened on the way to the golf course. COVID-19 and the pandemic, so it took until 2022 to have the event back.
This past weekend, Herbert and several other Utah golfers, including jazz broadcaster Ron Boone, got to play at famed St. Andrew’s Golf Club and Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland, where the game was invented.
“I think one of the main attributes of the game is the element of friendship,” said Mark Johnston of St. Andrew’s Golf Club. “I think this tournament really embodies that.”
“For them to come here and offer our hospitality and friendship for what they gave us during the Friendship Cup,” said Scottie golfer Brian McSkimming.
The golf was spectacular, even when it took a long time to play.
“They’ve come a long way to enjoy their golf and sometimes it’s a trip of a lifetime,” added Scottish golfer Ron Stewart. “We understand that sometimes it takes five hours for a lap, they are quite happy with that.”
“It’s great to let them see my house, if you will, my backyard that I’m proud of,” McSkimming added. “I know they are very proud of Sand Hollow and what they gave us when we went there.”
“It was a fun event,” said Boone, an avid golfer himself. “We’ve played a ton of great golf courses here in Scotland. The museum where golf started made the trip totally fun.”
“Even though there is a great distance between us, we are united by the love of human kind,” said Herbert. “We want to make things better for their families and they want to make things better for our families.”