Having just left behind the Ryder Cup 2012, a history making match as it was, we are now looking forward to bringing the Ryder Cup to Scotland, the home of golf. Scotland was handed the ceremonial baton of host nation when the tournament ended in America on Sunday night. First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, accepted a silver putter which will be kept at Gleneagles until the next tournament finishes.
Around 250,000 spectators from across the world are expected to descend on the Perthshire course for the event, with millions expected to be watching on television.
The Scottish Government estimates that the Ryder Cup will bring an estimated £100 million in to the economy in the week of the tournament alone.
Accommodation for this event will be limited so if you are planning to come to Scotland for this tournament we suggest you book accommodation as soon as possible. The golf courses will be incredibly busy at this time as well so the sooner you plan the better and the Links Club will be happy to help you with your itinerary.
A sport that dates back to the 15thCentury, golf last was part of the Olympic Programme at the 1904 Games in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, when the United States and Canada were the only two competing countries. More than a century later, golf again will be played at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. An indication of golf’s globalization since 1904 is that in Rio, at least 30 countries are expected to be represented in both the men's and women's competitions, from all continents represented in the Olympic Games.
The proposed Olympic competition for both men and women is a 72-hole individual stroke play tournament, with the lowest score earning the gold medal. In case of a tie for either first, second or third place, a three-hole playoff will determine the medal winner(s).
The process has been a long one for the Trump International group to get this course on the map so to speak but looking at some of the images that we have for prospective Links Club clients, it looks like an exciting prospect.
I have an invitation to walk the course at some stage early next year and will then have a personal view, but already superlatives are being heaped upon the course and the design.
The course designer is Dr Martin Hawtree and his company will celebrate their Centenary in 2012.
They are currently working with some of the great golf course and Clubs synonymous with Open Championship golf venues, Muirfield and Carnoustie.
The new course at Mennie Park Lodge just North of Aberdeen will be a classic Par 72 and with a yardage total of up to 7400 yards from the back tees, although as befitting a new course it will have up to five tee boxes available per hole, making this a course for the average player as well as the tournament player.
With 100% links fescue across the course this will look and feel like a links course, also with a traditional bent and fescue mixture for the greens, riveted bunkers this looks like a real challenge and an excellent addition to the golf courses of the North East.
With Royal Aberdeen just down the coast, Trump International Golf Links will make a welcome addition to this area for the avid golfer looking to play several rounds of golf in the Aberdeen area. With Cruden Bay and Murcar all within easy driving distance it gives the player more choice, before moving North to play Nairn, Castle Stuart, and of course the great Royal Dornoch Links.
I will wait with anticipation for the opportunity to walk the course in the New Year and will then write more on the subject then.
While he did not win the Championship outright he did finish 3rd and consequently eclipsed Rory Mclroy to be the number 1 in the world and the double money earner for both tours.
Scotland's own Paul Lawrie clinched 2nd place on his own with an excellent final birdie put to secure his own exceptional year with two wins on tour and a climb up the European ranking order to number 18, and 6th on the Ryder cup points total.
Alvaro Quiros held of the challenge of Paul Lawrie on the 18th by sinking a massive eagle put to secure the win by 2 strokes in what had been an excellent and exciting finish to the end of the season and the race to Dubai.
This new course is a must play venue when in the North East of Scotland. With this wonderful new addition to the golfing experience, the courses like Royal Dornoch, Nairn, Lossiemouth, and the swing through Aberdeen have been enhanced with the addition of Castle Stuart. It is hoped that shortly the course will start work on a new Boutique Hotel that will provide the golfer the complete experience.
Watch this space
Having played the course twice last year with clients, I find it a great and fair challenge of links golf with some beautifully framed holes that challenge the golfer but are still extremely fair. It is a testament to the course and its designers that it will host the Scottish Open this year in its usual slot one week before the Open.
Below is the press release on the Scottish Open and its move to Castle Stuart:
The European Tour has entered into an agreement with Castle Stuart Golf Links, situated between Inverness and Nairn on Scotland's Moray Firth coast, which has been confirmed as the venue for The Barclays Scottish Open. The 2011 Championship will be played from July 7-10.
The ground breaking trip to the Highlands also begins a two week festival of links golf which spans the entire length of the United Kingdom, as it is followed by The 140th Open Championship at Royal St George's in Kent, England; the fortnight perfectly showcasing the best of what is new in links golf at Castle Stuart as well as celebrating the heritage of the links game at Sandwich.
The prize fund for The 2011 Barclays Scottish Open remains at £3 million and to claim the first prize of £500,000, the players will have to conquer a new golf course, which has received worldwide praise since its official opening in the summer of 2009.
Co-designed by Managing Partner Mark Parsinen - who was also responsible for the design of Kingsbarns in Fife - and American golf course architect Gil Hanse, the course was voted as Best New Course for 2009 by Golf Magazine USA while Ron Whitten, writing in the December 2010 issue of Golf Digest USA, stated that "Castle Stuart might be the most perfectly conceived and executed design ever built."
The Ballot for visiting golfers can sometimes be a challenge to fully understand and the way that it works. With the change to "two days ahead applications" this should make life just a little easier for those operators like us who are planning to try and get you on the Old Course while you are here.
The Links Trust says that 50% of all tee times per day are available by the Ballot.
Our view is that it would be just great if you could book a tee time on a first come first served basis. The powers that be do not see it that way.
If you have any questions regarding the Ballot or advance applications then please e-mail or call, as we are happy to help.