This morning at 10.17, a locomotive will leave Waverley Station and rumble on to Gleneagles to mark the official start of the 'Year To Go' celebrations. Knowing the railway system, there will be a signalling problem and the movers, shakers, heid honchos and dignitaries will have to shuffle on to the replacement bus service.
The countdown to the biennial bash is on. Having lost seven of the last nine Ryder Cups, the USA have to fathom out how to derail the Euro express. Tom Watson, the celebrated Kansas veteran, has been trusted with that task and the man who made him captain knows just what is at stake. An act of desperation or a masterstroke? All will be revealed over three fraught days next September.
"I'll be a genius or an idiot," said Ted Bishop, president of the PGA of America, who broke the captaincy mould by going back in time.
"It's a gamble. If we don't win people will look at us and say 'wow, you've lost eight of the last 10 and you pulled out all the stops. What are you going to do now?'"
It is two years since Bishop had a eureka moment. "I was reading 'Four Days In July', recounting Tom in the 2009 Open at Turnberry. When we lost in Wales (in 2010) I knew when we went to Gleneagles it would be 21 years since we last won on foreign soil and that Watson was the captain then, at The Belfry in 1993. I had this revelation: 'wouldn't it be great to bring Tom Watson back in 2014?'."
Having set his sights on the five-time Open champion, Bishop swiftly went on the hunt. "The first time I called Tom to start a conversation about the Ryder Cup in November 2011, he was in South Dakota and he said 'can we talk tonight, I'm in the middle of a field hunting pheasants'," said Bishop.
The subsequently frequent chin-wags were kept pretty hush-hush, of course, and Bishop went about his task with the attention to detail usually seen on an archaeological dig. He is confident that he has unearthed something special.
"I put together an 85-page document about Tom Watson, the Ryder Cup and its future regarding our captains," he said. "I made a case that 2014 was a unique set of circumstances. We're going to Scotland and there hasn't been a player in modern-day history that's had a better record in Scotland than Tom. He's endeared himself to the people there. On the flight over in 1993 when Tom was last captain he got up and addressed the team. He said 'we're going where they invented the game of golf but let's remind them that we're coming from a part of the world that perfected the game'. When we got off that plane, there was a feeling among everybody that Tom is our captain and there is no way we are going to lose with him as our leader. He's got one goal next year and that is to win it back. Look at the last 15 Ryder Cups. Nine have been decided by two points or fewer, seven of them by one or fewer. Could Tom help get that point or half-point? He might just do that."
Bishop has plenty of respect for Watson's opposite number, Paul McGinley. The Irishman may not have the same awe-inspiring status as old Tom but the meticulous, erudite Dubliner will more than hold his own. "I called Paul to congratulate him and he told me how much an idol Tom had been for him," said Bishop. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Paul. I also came off the phone thinking he's as sly as fox too. He's cast himself in the role of the underdog and that's clever. I feel good about the decision we have made with Tom, win or lose. It will be hotly contested but with those two captains, the standards and the sportsmanship will be in the spirit of what the Ryder Cup should be."
With a year to go, it is now full steam ahead.