Golfing legend 'Old Tom' shows the famous Claret Jug to pupils at Muirhead
More than 1,200 school children will come face-to-face with golf's greatest prize this week when The Open Claret Jug tours five Ayrshire primary schools ahead of the 145th Open at Royal Troon.
For pupils at Muirhead Primary in Troon, this also meant an encounter with legendary professional golfer Old Tom Morris who won The Open four times in the 1860's. The youngsters were excited when Old Tom turned up at the school along with his faithful caddy, both dressed in clothes from the 19th century.
The pair told the children how Old Tom had started the first Open in Prestwick in 1860 and they were amazed it was still going strong all these years later. Old Tom Morris (golf historian and character actor David Joy) then picked primary 5 pupil, Aiden Stevenson (aged 9) to become his caddy and Aiden even got to wear a caddy uniform.
Aiden said: "My favourite part was getting loads of pictures with The Open trophy and getting to talk to Old Tom who told me how many times he had won The Open and how his son had won The Open too. I loved getting interviewed for the radio it was really exciting."
Four other pupils who are also big golf fans also got up close to the famous jug.
Amy Davies from P6 said: "I really enjoyed that we got to play golf with other pupils from the Cluster schools. The trophy was amazing – I drew the trophy for the Rita Cotter Art Competition. It was great to see it in real life.
Aidan Emberson P5 said: ""My favourite part was when Old Tom showed us the different golf balls, one was made from feathers."
Oliver Bratton P5 said: "I really enjoyed meeting Old Tom the golfer. I loved getting a talk to him about golf.
Emma Roberts P5 said: "I liked getting my photo taken with the trophy. My favourite part was seeing Old Tom and the old golf clubs."
The visit from Old Tom was part of a programme of educational visits led by the outreach team from the British Golf Museum in St Andrews.
June Stefani Head Teacher at Muirhead Primary said: "This was a great experience for the children, not only did they get to see the claret jug up close, but the actors really brought the historic tournament to life. The story of how The Open began is inspirational and if some of our pupils now go on to have a career in golf, I would not be surprised."
The Claret Jug was also at Girvan primary earlier in the week and is set to pay a visit to Ayr Grammar as well. The Claret Jug is also visiting selected schools across East, North Ayrshire as South Ayrshire gets set to host The Open at Royal Troon from 10-17 July 2016.