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Aaron Boyle drives from the first tee of the Old Course Untitled Document Aaron Boyle drives from the first tee of the Old Course

GET WELL DUSTIN

During early September 2013 I received a request from PGA of Canada CEO, Gary Bernard. Gary asked for advice to help plan a trip for the following week, the trip being a Children's Wish for Dustin Barr of Thunder Bay in Canada. Earlier in the year Dustin was diagnosed with cancer and faced two bouts of surgery, the first on his hip and pelvis immediately after his trip to St Andrews. The great news, Dustin has undergone that initial surgery and is doing really well.

 

St Andrews Legacy is all about life changing experiences, using the magic of St Andrews to the help those needing a lift. Dustin's coach, also named Dustin, received the advice Gary asked for. Arriving on Sunday 15 September Dustin, his family and their friends got settled in before teeing it up for the first time. With the Old Course tee time in place for Saturday 21 September the rest of the week quickly took shape:

 

Monday - Kingsbarns - big big thanks to Art Dunkley and the team who made this a special day. Once again Art was kind enough to let the gents play for free.

 

Tuesday - The Duke's - thanks to David Scott for offering a reduced rate for Dustin and his playing partners. A real challenge was the feedback.

 

Wednesday - Turnberry - big thanks to the guys there for offering a significant discount for the fourball, the 30mph wind was the talk of the week.

 

Thursday - Muirfield - yes Muirfield, with a week's notice! The guys loved it despite the pouring rain.

 

Friday - Crail Balcomie - big, big thanks to David Roy and the team at Crail; once again Crail offered a free fourball. Another big hit for the boys.

 

Saturday - The Old Course - A stunning start to the day thanks to Rhodri Price. Rhodri kindly agreed to conduct a tour of the R&A for Dustin and his family and friends. After lunch at the St Andrews Club it was a 2.10 tee time. I offered to caddie for Dustin and thankfully he smiles. After a few wobbles at the start, the nerves go and Dustin powers his way to a 38 on the back 9 from the medal tees. Real solid ball striking on the hardest holes on the course. He played really well. No surprises that there were tears on the 18th green. Oh to be 17! The family and friends shedding tears because they know what challenges lie ahead. Dustin can only display disappointment and disbelief and a tear at missing the 20ft birdie put on the last as the ball touches the side of the hole and runs to a foot. Golf is in this young man's veins.

 

It was a pleasure to help pull Dustin's week together, he is a fantastic young man with a real battle on his hands. Everyone involved with St Andrews Legacy wishes Dustin a full and speedy recovery. I look forward to the day I get to play the Old Course with Dustin as my guest, wearing purple. Get well soon young man! D