Tuesday, 28 June 2016

CATRIONA MATTHEW TARGETS SWEET TASTE OF HOME VICTORY IN AYRSHIRE

There could be no more perfect trip back to Scotland for Catriona Matthew than to lift the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links this July 22-24.

The 46-year old who is Scotland’s most successful female tour professional has her eyes set on a special homeland victory as she vies for a hat-trick of Ladies Scottish Open titles in just under a month’s time. The former Women’s British Open Champion, whose recent form has taken her to the brink of Olympic qualification has won the event in 2011 and 2013 but faces another tough test at Dundonald Links in North Ayrshire next month.

“I’m really looking forward to playing in the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open,” said the Scot. “It’s the only time this year that I’ll get to play in Scotland and everyone loves to play in their home country. I think it will be another great event.”

Matthew, who is currently 67th in the world rankings, will face stiff competition from the likes of LPGA stars Carlota Ciganda and Cheyenne Woods, former champions such as the Carly Booth and Trish Johnson as well as a host of young stars vying for the title, including Amy Boulden, Kylie Walker and Pamela Pretswell.

With a stretch of tournaments that includes the Ladies Scottish Open, followed by the Women’s British Open and no doubt The Olympics a couple of weeks later. Matthew is more than pleased with her current form.

“It’s very pleasing, I’ve been up in contention a lot. I feel as if it’s all coming together nicely, I’m hitting the ball really well, and it was nice to put in four good rounds at the recent KPMG Championship as up until that point, there’s always been one round that has let me down.”   

Matthew is also pleased that the Ladies Scottish Open is returning to Dundonald Links for a second consecutive year, a venue that will also hold the Aberdeen Asset Management men’s Scottish Open in 2017 as The European Tour event completes its geographical spread of Scotland, the ‘Home of Golf.

“It’s great to know the men’s event is coming here next year. I really enjoyed the layout of Dundonald last year, but how well you play on any links course really comes down to the weather. If it’s not windy it will be a great course, but if the wind picks up it will be a tough test," finished Catriona.

Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management said, “Were looking forward to welcoming Catriona, our fellow Scots and some of the world’s best golfers back to Dundonald this July. Last year’s event proved popular with players and fans alike so we sure this year’s instalment will be just as successful.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, added: “Catriona is a terrific global ambassador for Scotland, the Home of Golf and we are delighted she will be returning to Dundonald to showcase this magnificent region of the country. There is a real buzz about women’s golf in Scotland with the successful bid to host The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles and we look forward to thousands of spectators coming out to support Catriona and the other competitors at Dundonald.”

Councillor Willie Gibson, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “Catriona has been a fantastic ambassador for golf over a number of years now so we’re delighted that she will be competing at Dundonald.

“The organisers have yet again delivered a top-class field and we can’t wait to welcome them here to North Ayrshire.”

The 2016 Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open takes place at Dundonald Links on the West Coast of Scotland in North Ayrshire, from 22-24 July. The event now occupies a prime spot on the Ladies European Tour calendar, sitting just one week ahead of the Women's British Open and offers a prize fund of €500,000.

The event's unique pro-am format sees 80 amateurs and celebrities tee it up alongside a limited field of 80 of the top female golfers in the world. The 54-hole tournament is played over three days and is the only annual professional Ladies European Tour event in Scotland.

The event is FREE to attend with fun for all the family.

For more information visit www.ladiesscottishopen.com and follow @AberdeenLSO #AberdeenLSO

Guest Blog by Aberdeen Asset Management PLC

SAND LINKS ROYAL TROON TO TRIUMPHANT OPEN RETURN

Guest Blog by The Word Association
 
Royal Troon Golf Club has completed the most comprehensive preparations it has ever undertaken to ensure the Open Championship is played over firm and running links turf. Considered one of the world’s finest links courses, Royal Troon’s unprecedented preparations for the 145th Open have been three years in the making.
 
Weather permitting, this year’s Championship should have all the hallmarks of a classic links layout with firm surfaces providing ideal playing conditions for four exciting tournament days. These characteristics are intrinsic to the history and traditions of the game and, of course, The Open Championship.
 
“We want a traditional links feel,” said Billy McLachlan, course manager at Royal Troon Golf Club. “Firm, fast and bouncy. That’s what we’re trying to target for at The Open, and at any time. We’re doing everything we can to get a linksy feel and if the weather goes with us, we will hopefully achieve it.”
 
The Ayrshire course has hosted The Open Championship eight times with the last Royal Troon Open being decided in dramatic style by Todd Hamilton in a four-hole play-off in 2004. This year’s tournament will be an even greater feast for links lovers thanks to the efforts made by McLachlan and his team of greenkeepers as well as the support of the Sport Turf Research Institute (STRI) and sand supplier Hugh King & Co.
 
This collective team, along with the club itself, embarked on a targeted project to deliver a firmer, more linksy feel following the staging of The Amateur Championship in 2012. Played in less than ideal conditions, the event highlighted the need to improve the firmness of the golf course in the run-up to The Open Championship.
 
“We held The Amateur in 2012 and it wasn’t very nice weather. It was wet and the ground was a bit soft,” McLachlan remembered. “There was a deliberate decision made then to be more linksy. At that time, we were the softest of the Open Championship courses.”
 
Until then the club had used a sand-soil mix. A judgement was made to retain the sand but omit the soil. “In 2013 we went to using straight sand, which was Hugh King’s Washed Dune sand. It is used by a lot of golf courses, so we were quite fortunate to have it just 10 miles up the road.”
 
The club opted to topdress its greens, tees, fairways and surrounds with Hugh King’s Washed Dune sand and, under the guidance of Richard Windows, the STRI’s turfgrass agronomist, dilute organic matter and improve firmness. “This was initially done through hollow-coring and Graden sand injection scarification using Hugh King kiln-dried sand,” explained Windows. “Thereafter, there was a process of solid-tining and routine sand top-dressing with the majority of sand being applied during the September to May period to minimise disruption to golf.”
 
The ambitious three-year project was completed this winter and has delivered sensational results. “It has been incredibly successful,” said Windows. “Organic matter has been reduced by an average of 58% on the greens and firmness has been improved by 25% and is now in the target range of The Open Championship. We tried to get the levels of firmness in target regardless of the weather conditions. The more sand you put on, the more chance you have of achieving that objective.”
 
For the man closest to the project, the change has been most noticeable on the greens. “Before there was more organic material in the greens, so the turf held more moisture,” McLachlan explained. “Hopefully we’re heading down the right path. All the tests are giving us good results – organic matter down, firmness readings up. I can get more speed in the greens more easily and they don’t hold the water as they did before - all this kind of stuff. We’re on line to where we want to be which is harder, faster and firmer.”
 
The ambitious project to firm up Royal Troon centred around taking organic matters out of the soil. To do this, the club needed sand. “It has been a privilege to work with Billy on this project and to see the huge strides made by he and his team,” said Graeme King, managing director of the family run business Hugh King & Co. “Sand is a critical part of a golf course and we are extremely proud our sand is helping one of the finest links golf courses in the world deliver what should be a memorable Open Championship.”
 
Hugh King & Co supplies sands to over 120 golf courses including all Open Championship venues in Scotland.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Accommodation available at this year Open in Ayrshire

One month to go until The Open returns to the Ayrshire coast for the 145th at Royal Troon Golf Club.
There are still rooms available for the week of the event including B&B'S, Hotels and Exclusive use venues ideal for last minute groups and corporate entertaining.
We have listed below some of the accommodation providers that still have rooms available. We hope you can join us on what will be a fantastic week of Golf.

B&B Availability...



The Coila Guest House in Ayr (15 minutes from Troon) have limited availability throughout the week at very good rates. To enquire simply email coila.ayr@gmail.com

Hotel Availability...




Enterkine House (ten minutes from Troon) have limited availability throughout the week of The Open. To enquire for rates and availability please contact karen@enterkine.com


The Carlton Hotel in Prestwick (less than ten minutes form Troon) have availabilty throughout the week of The Open. To enquire for rates and booking please contact kayleigh.dunn@rad.ltd.uk


Parkstone Hotel in Prestwick has very limited availability for The Open week, for rates and booking please contact info@parkstonehotel.co.uk


The Park Hotel in Kilmarnock (20 minutes from Troon) has availability for the Open week.
Please contact kj@theparkhotelayrshire.co.uk for rates and booking.


Exclusive Use venues...




Carnell Estate situated just 20 minutes from Troon is a ten bedroom property available for the whole week of The Open. Perfect for a larger group or for corporate hospitality.
£25,000 for full use of Carnell during this period. Please contact carnellestates@aol.com for more information.


Blairquhan Castle is an exclusive use 5 star property situated 30 minutes drive from Troon.
Perfect for larger groups or corporate hospitality.
Prices start from £350 per room (minimum ten rooms per night and 2 night stay) They also have fantastic cottages which are still available for the whole week. To enquire please contact enquiries@blairquhan.co.uk


Tour Operator Availability...



Golf Holidays Worldwide is one of our recommended Tour Operators for Ayrshire and they currently have Open packages available and starting from £689.
Click to view package offers here    



Please note the above availability may have changed since this email.

We hope to see you at this years Open, all the best.

Ayrshire Golf Scotland
Promoting the regions Golf.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Ayrshire Golf hosts Taylormade Golf Prize Winners

Ayrshire Golf along with Taylormade Golf US & Golf WRX hosted 4 lucky prize winners last week for a week of golf in a very sunny Ayrshire.
The winners where a pair of Fathers and Sons from the United States on there very first golf trip to Scotland and we can safely say that they loved every minute of it.
Before their trip they were kitted out in Taylormade equipment and clothed head to toe in Adidas as part of their prize. They had 5 day
s with us in Ayrshire staying at the fantastic Gailes Hotel and playing Western Gailes, Dundonald Links, Prestwick Golf Club and a visit to Trump Turnberry.
The highlight of the trip however was playing Royal Troon with all The Open stands up. It didn't stop there, the lucky winners enjoyed 9 holes with Ryder Cup Captain and Past Open Champion Darren Clarke on a beautiful day on the links.




Check out one of the prize winners tweet of excitement of what was described as a trip of a lifetime. We hope to see you back again guys!


Stay tuned to see some great footage in the next few weeks of their trip.......