Samuel L Jackson to the fore as top partner for golfing Scots

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Pulp Fiction star Samuel L Jackson is the celebrity that most Scots would like to play a round of golf with, according to a survey for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

Research revealed that 12% of people surveyed would have the all-time highest grossing box office star as their partner on the golf course.

James Bond star Sir Sean Connery was narrowly pipped into second place. – but when it comes to celebrating a hole in one, most would want to raise a glass with royal party animal Prince Harry.

Respondents in the Grampian Highlands, Aberdeen and North East Coast area preferred Cameron Diaz as a partner to George Clooney who was third most popular across the whole country. Ms Diaz was more than twice as popular in the north east than in the West Highlands and Lothians. When asked which Scottish personality they would like to play a round of golf with, folk of the north east put local lass Annie Lennox in bottom place along with Elaine C Smith. The north east was the only area of Scotland to have Ozzy Osbourne in the top three to celebrate a hole in one with.

Samuel L Jackson, who came out as the nation’s favourite golf partner, is so passionate about the sport that he has a clause in his movie contracts so he can get time off to play twice a week.

Sir Sean, who captured 11.8% of the overall vote, learned to play golf during the early 1960s for his role as 007 in Goldfinger, and has been playing ever since. George Clooney came third overall, with 10.6% of respondents saying they would like to hit the fairways with him – however he was the most popular choice with females.

All eyes may be on Andy Murray as he battles to retain his Wimbledon crown, but it seems that Scots would rather he stayed on the tennis court and off the golf course. In terms of Scottish personalities who respondents would like to play a round with, Billy Connolly came out on top at 24.3%, while Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor was second most popular with just over 12% of votes cast.

Only 10% of Scots wanted to team up with Andy, while mum, Judy, was the choice for just 1.3% - only Annie Lennox and Elaine C Smith came lower. The survey of 1,000 Scottish adults also questioned which historical figure from the past they would have liked to have played 18 holes with – William Wallace was the favourite, closely followed by Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Respondents in the north east agree with William Wallace as top choice, but preferred Frank Sinatra to Elvis.

The survey showed that more people would like to have played with Barack Obama than David Beckham or the late golfing legend Seve Ballesteros. Former US president John F Kennedy was also frequently named as a partner. Others on the list included suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, former Cuban president Fidel Castro and nurse Florence Nightingale.

When it came to raising a glass to a hole in one, a fifth of those who answered said they would want to get the drinks in at ‘the 19th hole’ with Prince Harry. He was by far the most popular choice with women, but men would rather celebrate with Rab C. Nesbitt. Gregor Fisher’s fictional Glaswegian character was the second most popular choice overall.

However, there was bad news for other famous names who are renowned for their party lifestyles. The Kardashians and Justin Bieber were among the least popular choices to celebrate with along with notorious rocker Gene Simmons from the band, Kiss.

The survey by OnePoll was commissioned ahead of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, which takes place at Dundonald Links in Ayrshire from 12 – 16 July. It includes a stellar line-up of the world’s best golfers, including world number four Rory McIlroy, The Open champion Henrik Stenson, and former Masters winner Adam Scott.

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, said: “Sir Sean Connery would have to be my ideal golfing partner. He has a love affair with the game, so hopefully we could teach each other a thing or two on the course while hearing stories about his career and secrets from Hollywood.

“In the rare event that I would ever achieve a hole in one, I would have to celebrate with Ozzy Osborne. I’m sure that would be an interesting spectacle!”

“We have a number of celebrities playing in the Pro-Am at the Scottish Open, and with great golfers like Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson playing on one of Scotland’s most challenging links courses, spectators are in for a very entertaining tournament.”

There will be plenty to keep golf fans entertained off the fairways too. The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open includes an extensive programme of music, including the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire, and activities such as a bungee run and inflatable obstacle course. Players will also be taking part in a series of Q and As with fans on the show stage throughout the week, and a celebrity Pro-Am event takes place on July 12.

A free bus runs each day of the tournament from Irvine Central to Dundonald every 15 minutes. Under 16s gain entry to the event free of charge when accompanied by an adult, and tickets can be bought in advance at www.aamscottishopen.com/tickets and any men’s Scottish Open ticket bought will give free access to the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open just two weeks later at the same venue (27 – 30 July).