Does it get any better than this?

Combining a passion for golf with the love of travel in the company of dear friends. That’s what Cook Jordan, a Managing Principal of Jordan, Knauff & Company, a boutique investment banking firm in Chicago, did.

    Cook and friends—a group that enjoys attending world-famous golf tournaments. The Masters, the British Open, and the like.

     Two years ahead, Cook proposed the idea of traveling to the birthplace of golf—St. Andrew’s, Scotland—for the 2010 British Open. It wasn’t a difficult sell.

     But as exciting as this tour was, the grind of pulling together suitable arrangements for the group was not. (The six stages of a project come to mind: Enthusiasm, Disillusionment, Panic, Search for the Guilty, Punishment of the Innocent, Reward of the Non-Participants).

     R. Crusoe came to the rescue, and the tour fell into place just beautifully.

     To start, everyone had different ideas for the days leading up to the tournament. Some wanted time in London and at Blenheim Palace, which they did in the company of Crusoe’s favorite London guide. “She was a star,” says Cook, a huge Winston Churchill fan. “I learned so much about Blenheim that isn’t even mentioned in the books.”

     Others in the group flew to Edinburgh and headed straight to St. Andrews.

     All travelers gathered at a guesthouse rented exclusively for Cook’s group. It was just steps away from the hallowed ground of St. Andrews.

     “Our hotel was less than a one-wood drive from the entrance of the Old Course,” says Cook. “St. Andrews is a town of 18,000, and during the tournament the world descends on it. Transportation is a challenge. So this location was key.”

     Crusoe created flexible arrangements: Some in the group took walking tours of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, getting the inside scoop from dynamic local guides. Others hit the links with tee times and clubs prearranged by R. Crusoe. “There would have been no way to get on Kingsbarns and Carnoustie without R. Crusoe’s advanced booking,” explains a grateful Cook.

     Everyone opted for a visit to Glamis Castle—the late Queen Mother’s beloved childhood home—for a private tour and tea.

     It can be difficult to get dinner reservations during tournament time, so we handled that task ahead of time. “If you didn’t have a reservation, you were out of luck,” says Cook. “We also didn’t have to spend precious time during the day fretting about dinner. The plans were set.”

     Finally, the British Open. It lived up to its billing, leaving everyone happy and ready to celebrate during a farewell dinner in the library of Rufflets, a charming country hotel favored by none other than Jack Nicklaus.

     How did the Golden Bear discover this gem? Early in his career, Nicklaus found himself at St. Andrews with no hotel room. He eventually landed at Rufflets with still no room at the inn. The owner said he could sleep on the library’s floor. From that point forward, Rufflets became Nicklaus’s home in Scotland. And for Cook and his friends, it was the culmination of an unforgettable journey.

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