ELVIS Presley excited much media attention when he made a brief stopover at Prestwick Airport in March 1960 but another legendary American singer generated more than a few column inches when he did the same thing in August 1966.

Bing Crosby (main image) landed at the airport from the US and he and his wife Kathryn spent half an hour strolling in the Prestwick sunshine before boarding a flight to Manchester. He was on his way to the Lake District to make a film for a television company.

Quite apart from the chance of a brief encounter with one of the century’s biggest, most popular entertainers, a talking-point for Glasgow journalists was the somewhat worn quality of his favourite green cardigan. ‘N.B., note holes in cardigan’, reads a handwritten note on the back of the photograph.

Kathryn did her best under the circumstances, trying in vain to shield it from photographers. “You can see what kind of seamstress I am", she said.

The following month, the couple were photographed at Glasgow Airport when they arrived from Ireland to spend the weekend at Gleneagles Hotel. On the course there he was scheduled to play in the second match of an international golf tournament inaugurated by General Eisenhower, before flying on to Canada.

In August 1971 (above) Crosby was back at Prestwick, receiving a piper’s welcome before a week’s golfing at Troon and at Gleneagles. He had arrived on a Pan-Am flight from New York, and was promptly besieged by autograph hunters.

“It is nice to see that people still think so highly of me”, he said. “Most of my work now is for American television, and the Scots don’t have a chance to see me”. Of his golfing holiday, he said: “I just love playing golf in Scotland. The courses are beautiful”.

Read more: Herald Diary

Crosby was, of course, a fanatical golfer. Three years ago, it was revealed in a book co-written by his son Nathaniel (himself a prominent golfer) that he had enjoyed no fewer than 75 golf-club memberships.

In 1978 he was posthumously inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

The citation says he first took up the game as a caddy at the age of 12. He dropped it but re-started it in 1930 with some fellow Hollywood cast members during the making of “The King of Jazz”, his first film.

“Although he made his name as a singer, vaudeville performer and silver screen luminary”, the citation continues, “he would probably prefer to be remembered as a two handicap who competed in both the British and U.S. Amateur championships, a five-time club champion at Lakeside Golf Club in Hollywood, and as one of only a few players to have made a hole-in-one on the 16th at Cypress Point”, the spectacular (and spectacularly exclusive) course on the Monterey Peninsula in California.

The modern-day AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am tournament started out in Rancho Sante Fe, California when, in 1937, Crosby invited a cluster of friends to play golf and raise money for good causes.