‘We’ve proved that we’ve got a good enough course’ insists director of golf Redford
Dundonald Links 'can’t wait for more' after getting its first taste of hosting top-level tournament golf with the Ladies Scottish Open.
The Ayrshire venue enjoyed great success as it staged the Ladies Scottish Open for the first time and its director of golf, Guy Redford, believes it could be a big step towards hosting even bigger events in the future.
Dundonald has been widely backed as a future Scottish Open venue and Redford believes the successful running of a tour event has done the club’s chances no harm whatsoever.
“It certainly can act as a positive,” Redford exclusively told Scottish Club Golfer. “Part of the government’s commitment to co-sponsoring the Scottish Open through EventScotland and VisitScotland is to share the economic benefit so I believe that the tournament will come west at some point and the tour has already looked at Dundonald as a potential venue.
“I think everyone at Aberdeen Asset Management, who also sponsor both Scottish Opens, were very complementary of the infrastructure, the quality of the golf course and the facilities provided to the players, albeit that event would be on a much larger scale, but I think we’ve proved we’ve got a good enough golf course, we’ve got the land to do it and we’ve got the desire and goodwill to put on events.”
Dundonald is part of Loch Lomond Golf Club, the former home of the Scottish Open, and Redford believes the club’s experience of over 14 years of hosting big tournaments will play in the Ayrshire links’ favour when it comes to the powers that be deciding upon the Scottish Open.
While that is one for the next few years, Redford is already looking forward to 2016 and is hoping to play host to the Ladies Scottish Open once again, as long as it fits well into the diary.
He added: “We would be hopeful of hosting the event again next year but we just need to iron out a few details. We’ve got the Ladies Amateur Championship here in June, the Open Championship in July at Troon, and then the Ladies Scottish Open would be the week after if it stayed at the same date, but it was a fantastic tournament and we’d love to do it again.”
Australia’s Rebecca Artis, below left, was crowned the Ladies Scottish Open champion, defeating some of the world’s top names, including teen sensation Lydia Ko and Suzann Pettersen, en route to the title, as they all competed for a prize fund that had been doubled with the support of both Aberdeen Asset Management and EventScotland.
For Redford, the attendance of top players like Ko, Pettersen and Cheyenne Woods, niece of 14-time major champion Tiger, all contributed to a great evemt with attendance figures that ‘exceeded expectations’ as an estimated total of 9,500 people made their way to Dundonald over the week.
“The organisers had said if we got between 1,500 and 2,000 people through the gates per day that would be a good result, and we got 4,200 on the Saturday alone, so we were pretty pleased with that,” said Redford. “We put a lot into the junior zone and kids activities around the course and we had a covered kids zone as well.
“North Ayrshire Council had supported us to make it a family inclusive event with the idea of mum, dad, kids, gran and grandad all coming along to watch a bit of golf and enjoy a good day out.
“We even had a theatre of food with Cook School Scotland doing demonstrations, which were great, and even some of the players got involved with Pamela Pretswell and Amy Boulden both taking part. It was great to see and the ladies were really amenable to that type of thing.”