With none of the 36 fairways under construction, and not a sod laid on any of its greens, Donald Trump has taken the hugely symbollic step of appointing a links superintendent - better known as his head greenkeeper - to his golf resort at Balmedie in Aberdeenshire.
Paul O'Connor, 42, was introduced by Mr Trump yesterday as a key addition to his golf course construction team. As superintendent, he will help bring the two links courses to fruition for their opening, possibly in 2012, and then nurture what the billionaire hopes will become one of the world's great sporting venues.
Whether that can be achieved as quickly as Mr Trump would like remains a moot point. Aside from his difficulties in removing four local householders who refuse to sell up their properties, great golf courses do not emerge fully formed from an architect's manual. Instead, they take time to reach their full potential, said Mr O'Connor, who spent 18 years tending the championship links at Carnoustie in Angus.
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