Tee off time at Trump International

Mr Trump, flanked by Colin Montgomerie, cuts the ribbon to declare the course officially open.
Mr Trump, flanked by Colin Montgomerie, cuts the ribbon to declare the course officially open.

IT was fitting that the skirl o’ the pipes should resound over what Donald Trump believes is the greatest golf course in the world.

The billionaire’s dream finally became a reality on Tuesday when the Trump International Golf Links were officialy declared open for business.

Not for the first time did Mr Trump refer to his late mother, Mary McLeod, who was born in Stornoway, as he cast his eye over his creation on the Aberdeenshire coast.

And he is convinced that what has emerged from the “Great Dunes of Scotland” over the last few years will be a legacy of which she would have been proud.

The clouds threatened but the rain largely stayed away for the opening ceremony attended by Mr Trump’s family, business associates and Scots golfers, including Colin Montgomerie, victorious Ryder Cup captain in 2010.

There had been speculation that celebrity guests, including Clint Eastwood and Samuel L. Jackson, would be flying in for the big day.

But in the end it was a fairly low key, but unmistakably Scottish occasion.

Two pipers led the tycoon and his guests through the dunes to the first tee where he paid tribute to all those who had made possible what was beyond even his dreams.

Mr Trump hit the first ball, probably not his best, but not in any trouble on the tricky opening hole. Monty, who was partnering him. struck a fine drive down the middle.

And so the Menie course is ready for action. It will be open to the general public from Sunday (July 15).