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375' putt gets into Guinness Book of Records

There are any number of things that are best done slowly. Like, for example, drawing a pint of Guinness — and, it has emerged, having a record ratified by the annual tome that bears the name of the wondrous black stuff.

Not that Fergus Muir is complaining — he may have performed his deed of derring-do as far back as November 6, 2001, but when the record at stake is the sinking of the longest verifiable putt in the history of the game — and at St Andrews, the home of golf, at that — it is worth waiting for.

Muir, 66, was playing in a friendly three-ball on the Eden course when the group reached the par-three 5th. It was blowing a gale, as it is prone to do at Andrews — as a wise man once said, the unlikeliest question that could ever be asked in that part of the world is: “Where can I get some sun-cream?” Muir, a 13-handicapper, had already seen his partners, Peter Gillespie and George Fullerton, who are fellow members of St Andrews New Golf Club, hit their tee-shots over the green and decided, with the confidence of a man who clearly does not suffer from the yips, to use his putter.

His weapon of choice on the greens is a hickory-shafted veteran of 80 years, manufactured by Condie of St Andrews. The club, which was given to him when he was 13 by an uncle, had holed some putts in its time but it is a safe bet that it had never been used quite like this.

“We saw the ball go towards the two-tier green over the undulating mounds in the fairway and then lost sight of it,” Muir said. On reaching the green, he was amazed to find that he had fiddled and finagled the ball in for the first hole in one in his life. It had travelled 375 feet from tee to cup.

The Guinness Book of Records team were informed, they carried out the sort of exhaustive investigations that would have done justice to an international fraud inquiry, and yesterday Muir received a certificate in recognition of his feat.


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