A GROUP of golfers are swapping desert conditions in the Persian Gulf for the links experience on the Moray Firth to compete in a prestigious Pro-Am tournament over three of Scotland’s finest courses.
Two teams from Doha Golf Club in Qatar have joined the field for the annual Highland Golf Links 54-Hole Pro-Am sponsored by Blue Group which will be held from October 2-4 at Castle Stuart Golf Links, Royal Dornoch Golf Club and Nairn Golf Club.
It is the first time players from Doha - who are used to playing in 45C temperatures - have signed up for the Tartan Tour event, which this year has also attracted teams from Portugal and Ireland as well as from across the UK.
Fraser Cromarty, chairman of Highlands Golf Links, said: “Since its inception in 2013, the pro-am has grown steadily in popularity and it is attracting players from far and wide, as the contingent from Doha this year demonstrates.
“We have enjoyed some glorious weather for the event in previous years, although perhaps not 45C temperatures. However, the Moray Firth’s micro-climate, which ensures we get less rain and more sunshine than much of the rest of Scotland, helps to make it a great place to play links golf.
The Doha contingent includes Gary McGlinchey, club pro and general manager at Doha Golf Club, which hosts the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. He said: “The Highland Golf Links Pro-Am provides me with a great opportunity to showcase my home country, Scotland, to good friends who think they know lots about golf.
“I take great pleasure in witnessing good golfers being humbled by great links courses and typical Scottish weather conditions.”