Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Rickie Fowler coming to Ayrshire.

Rickie Fowler will bid to reclaim the title he won in 2015 when he tees it up at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald Links on July 13-16.
The 28 year old American surged to a thrilling victory two years ago to secure his maiden European Tour title, two months after winning The Players’ Championship for the first time.

Fowler fell two shots off the lead when he bogeyed the 14th in the final round at Gullane Golf Club, but birdied three of the last four holes to overtake Ryder Cup team-mate Matt Kuchar and Frenchman Raphaƫl Jacquelin to finish 12 under par and seal a memorable win.

Currently 9th on the Official World Golf Ranking, Fowler added the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship to his list of titles in 2016, and will be aiming to make it three European Tour wins in three years when he returns to Scotland, the Home of Golf, in July.

This will be his third appearance at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in four years, after finishing tied eighth in his debut appearance at Royal Aberdeen in 2014.

This year the event takes its place as part of the European Tour’s new Rolex Series, a premium category of tournaments each with a minimum prize fund of US$7million. With the significant prize fund increase and greater Race to Dubai points on offer, Fowler joins a world-class field, including  World Number Two Rory McIlroy, The Open Champion Henrik Stenson and former Masters Tournament winner Adam Scott, on the North Ayrshire coast in the week before The 146th Open Championship.

Fowler said: “I’m really looking forward teeing it up at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open again. I had to dig deep on the final day for the win in 2015, and it rounded off a special week for me in front of the Scottish fans.
I had to dig deep on the final day for the win in 2015, and it rounded off a special week for me in front of the Scottish fans.
Rickie Fowler
“It’s a tournament that I enjoy being part of, and I’m looking forward to playing Dundonald for the first time. The aim is to win another title as well as getting in a good week of links golf in preparation for The Open Championship.”

As well as a world-class field competing inside the ropes at Dundonald Links, there will be a host of entertainment for spectators to enjoy outside the ropes, including a free American Golf show, a host of family entertainment and a wide selection of food from local suppliers.

Fans can buy tickets to see some of the world’s best golfers competing on the Ayrshire coast - including official Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open hospitality packages - at www.aamscottishopen.com/tickets

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The Golfing town of Irvine & Gailes

Ayrshire's famous golfing town of Prestwick and Troon are renowned all over the world, but Ayrshire boast another town golfers don't want to miss! Irvine and Gailes sit a few miles North of Troon and boast five and a half fantastic courses.

Irvine Bogside Golf Club is built between the town, an old racecourse and the banks of the River Irvine, Bogside’s situation may lack the setting of some of the courses to follow but on arriving on the narrow road to the clubhouse you cannot fail to be captivated by the golfing terrain that lies ahead of you. Always immaculately manicured, the fairways and greens roll over heavy contours and high dunes dissected by copious amounts of traditional gorse and even more heather. Likened by some to Prestwick for its quirky individuality and blind approach shots, if Irvine is where you start your tour you will not be disappointed.




Irvine Bogside's neighbour is the public course of Ravenspark which is excellent value and a slightly lesser test of golf than others in the town.

A couple of miles to the south of Irvine are the two Gailes courses of Western and Gailes Links, both of which have been well known to the golfing visitor for many years. These two traditional links have been joined, and complemented, by the relatively new Dundonald Links which geographically slots perfectly into the parcel of land left vacant between Western and Gailes Links.

Gailes Links course designer, former Open Championship winner, Willie Park always believed this links to be one of his best creations. The classic layout is tough, fair and traditionally Scottish, wild heather and gorse define the fairways and the greens are guarded by strategically placed bunkers. Sandy Lyle, former Open and Masters Champion describes the course as “one of the world’s truly great tests of links golf’ and it has been selected by the R&A as a final qualifying venue for The Open Championship every time it has been at Royal Troon and Turnberry. At 6903 yards long from the back tees, Gailes is a great test of golf whilst the kinder forward tees provide a fine test for players of all abilities.




Just across the railway track and closer to the sea, the reputation of Western Gailes has become stronger and stronger over recent years, attracting visitors from all parts of the world and featuring as a must-play on many Scottish itineraries. This is nothing new; in June 1903 the great Harry Vardon arrived at Western celebrating his fourth Open victory to win the first professional championship held and promoted by the Club, whilst in 1923 its attractions were being lauded by the then US Open Champion Gene Sarazen who played the course.

Western Gailes’ setting is imposing being situated between the railway and the sea, both being very much in play as major features. The course is never less than an excellent test of true links golf with the almost central clubhouse situated between the seven holes to the north and eleven to the south.




Sitting across the railway line is Dundonald Links which since its opening has fast become one of the most impressive new links courses in Scotland. Designed by Kyle Phillips, the structure and shape of the course easily matches his better known design at Kingsbarns and the layout offers a great challenge from whichever set of tees it’s played off.

It has perhaps as fine collection of Par Threes holes that you are likely to encounter and a feeling of historic links golf that belies its youth and its quality has already been recognised with its inclusion as Final Qualifying for the 2008 British Seniors Open as well as host to the Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open in 2017.




When staying in the town, there is no better option than The Gailes Hotel which is no more than a par 5 from three of the courses. With its own driving range and short 9 hole course, it really is the place to stay on a visit to Irvine.



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