Former European Tour professional Andrew Coltart has told bunkered.co.uk that Dundonald Links could do a good job staging the Scottish Open – but is keen to see it tested under tournament conditions before any decision is made to take the event there.
Coltart, twice a winner on the tour and now running a successful coaching business, TPEGS, with top Scottish pro Gary Nicol, was responding to news that the home of golf’s flagship tournament could be heading to the Ayrshire course in the next few years.
Delegates from the European Tour have already visited the course and Bill Donald, general manager of Dundonald’s parent club Loch Lomond, revealed that their ‘hat’s in the ring’ for the Scottish Open, potentially in 2017.
Coltart, though, who played the course for the first time a couple of winters ago, reckons that there’s no need to rush any decision.
“It’s certainly a good test and, obviously, it’s fairly accessible, too,” said the 43-year-old. “It’s not too far out of the way of anything, so it’s got that going for it as well.
“However, I’d like to see it host something else before we decide if the Scottish Open should go there. It’s all very well saying ‘we’re putting our hat in the ring’ but I would be interested to see how it fares staging a big event first and hear the feedback of those taking part. You want to test its credentials and see what it’s capable of first before you give it an event of the stature of the Scottish Open.”
“If I had my way, I’d take it back to the King’s at Gleneagles" - Andrew Coltart
This year’s Scottish Open will be played at Royal Aberdeen, following a broadly successful three-year residency at Castle Stuart Golf Links, near Inverness.
It is widely believed that the European Tour, together with the tournament sponsors, are keen to establish a rota of links courses around the country to host the tournament. Coltart, however, has other ideas.
“If I had my way, I’d take it back to the King’s at Gleneagles,” he revealed. “The only problem is that the distance these guys hit the ball these days, it would probably get ripped to bits. Most courses would, actually. We’ve got some cracking courses in Scotland, some of the best in the world, but a lot of them have been made obsolete because they’re too short for the modern pro.
“Muirfield and Turnberry would also be on my list of preferred Scottish Open venues but I believe there are issues there with them already being on the Open rota.
“I do like the idea of taking the tournament around Scotland, though. It’s a good way to boost the profile of all the different parts of the country and all of their courses. It’s a great way to both show and remind the world what we’ve got.”
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