On its website, Gilmerton House is announced as “a warm and welcoming Georgian mansion in the heart of East Lothian. A luxurious exclusive-use venue for private stays, corporate events, golf breaks and weddings.” And this week those in receipt of such opulent hospitality included European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald and two of his vice-captains, Edoardo Molinari and Nicolas Colsaerts. All three are in the field for the Genesis Scottish Open at the nearby Renaissance Club.
“It’s an amazing place, a classic old country manor,” Donald says. “And a beautiful place to stay. The DP World Tour actually rented the place back in COVID times. And they have used it a few times since. I’m there with Edoardo and Nico and a few guys who are on the fringes of selection and who I’d like to get to know a bit better.”
The social highlight of the week has been the Tuesday evening barbecue attended by as many as 70 guests, a figure made up primarily of (possible) Ryder Cup players, caddies, wives and girlfriends. In other words, a bonding session that gave the non-playing skipper, who travels a lot in Europe and the U.S., an opportunity to stay in touch with all concerned.
“It really went well,” Donald said. “It was an opportunity to get together and enjoy each other’s company. This is a good week for everyone to get together. It’s difficult to do when there are so many different schedules in play. And major weeks are tough too. Guys are more in their bubbles during those. But most of the people who are in the running for the team are here this week. In fact, most of the team will be playing here this week.
“It’s important to spend time with each other, creating the kinds of moments we had on Tuesday,” he continues. “The culture and camaraderie on the DP World Tour has always been strong. So it is helpful to host events where we can build the sort of unity we like to see at every Ryder Cup. It’s nice for everyone to feel part of the process. And we had a great turnout. My message to everyone was that I am very excited about how well everyone has been playing. The guys I really want to see playing well are all doing just that. They are all giving me a headache—in a good way—because of that.”