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Nothing continues to happen at 'St Andrews Grand'
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R&A dismiss rumours of hall purchase

The Citizen, 9 May 2008

Rumours that the R&A had purchased the derelict former university residence, Hamilton Hall, behind the 18th green of the Old Course, were dismissed this week.

As Royal and Ancient Golf Club members gathered for their annual Spring Medal meeting, the club's chief executive, Peter Dawson, told the Citizen: "'There is absolutely no truth in that whatsoever."

Nothing continues to happen at the iconic red sandstone building, re-christened 'St Andrews Grand' and bought for a reported £20 million from St Andrews University in 2004.

Fears have been expressed that the building, featured in every televised golf championship over the Old Course, would become dangerous.

Its rear courtyard is strewn with rubble and some of its polythene-covered rear windows are exposed. Broken vents lie open to the elements and one of the boarded-up windows on its facade has been smashed.

This week, owner David Wasserman, of Rhode Island-based Wasserman Real Estate Capital LLC - which also has a co-controlling interest in Kingsbarns Golf Links - said he still owned the building and was "considering options and the economy."

Last year, he said four of the 23 residences planned for the "exclusive shared-ownership club" - which had US Masters winner Phil Mickelson as one of its founder members -priced between £5 and £8 million each, had been sold.

Despite the global credit crunch, he insisted: "There is no other option than toughing it out.

"The building, the location and St Andrews are too good. That combination will stand the test of time."

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