Young PGA Professionals and leading amateurs attached to all 10 clubs on the R&A’s rota for The Open are being invited to join assistant professionals from the Tartan Tour Order of Merit and some elite Scottish amateur players in a new event at Carnoustie next month.
In total, around 60 players will tee up in the ‘Carnoustie Challenge’, which is being staged in the build up to this year’s 147th Open Championship at our famous Links.
This mixed gender event was the brainchild of our PGA head professional Colin Sinclair, and marks the fact that we are one of the few courses to have hosted both The Open and the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
“One of Carnoustie Golf Links key objectives is promoting participation in golf,” said Sinclair. “We feel the Carnoustie Challenge will provide young leading golfers the exciting opportunity of playing in tournament conditions on the Open Championship golf course.
“This will allow the competitors to gauge where their game is at but at the same time hopefully creating great memories playing The Open course the year of The Open.”
Males will play from the tees being used for this year’s Open Championship, while females will play from the tees used at the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2011.
To be played over 18 holes on April 18 and carrying a £3,000 prize fund, the event is being sponsored by Johnstons of Elgin, with hickory putter trophies being presented to both male and female winners.
In a bid to encourage an appropriate pace of place, “ready golf” will be implemented and each group will be given a timing tag.
PGA in Scotland secretary Shona Malcolm said: “The PGA in Scotland is delighted to work with Carnoustie Golf Links, Scottish Golf Limited and Johnstons of Elgin to deliver an innovative event that not only brings PGA Assistants and amateur golfers of both genders together in a competitive environment, but also celebrates the rich history that Carnoustie has of hosting major golf championships for both men and women.”
Stuart Clayton, Scottish Golf performance director, added: “To have a number of our leading amateur golfers, both male and female, play in this new event further enhances the opportunity and environment for us at Scottish Golf to help players test themselves in the performance arena.
“To be able to compete at Carnoustie in the year of the Open Championship being contested there will be a huge inspiration for all competitors. This will be a great start to the season for all involved and we are grateful to the PGA for extending the opportunity to our amateur golfers.”