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Max Homa is hoping to tick off more bucket list Scottish courses this year as he makes his second visit to the Genesis Scottish Open. 

The engaging American made his first visit to Scotland last year to play the Genesis Scottish Open and 150th Open and managed to fit in a visit to North Berwick in the process. After his second round at the Renaissance Club, the 32-year-old dashed down the road to play the West Links, a layout he described as his “favourite course.”

This year, he says, he’s going to try and fit more extra-curricular golf into the itinerary between a fortnight of competitive action.

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“I think we’re going to try to play a different course this year,” he explained, two months out from the tournament.

“It is really unusual. But living in Arizona, it’s not so easy to get a tee time and make it out to North Berwick.

“When I was here I kind of had to take advantage. It was on my bucket list for a long time. I’d always wanted to play and so I had to make the most of it. This year, I’ll try to do something similar just because there’s just so much great golf in that area.”  

The experience last year clearly helped the world No.6, who went on to shoot a 66 the next day, his best round on Scottish soil.

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“I am obviously trying to play and win a golf tournament. But I’m also human, and I do want to have some human golf dork experiences and you know it ended up working out. I played great the next day after playing North Berwick. 

“Sometimes when you get that joy of doing something you wanted to do since you were a kid, that can make you find that love for golf, that invigoration that it gives you, so last year was a blast.

“We finished at like 11pm which you know, that’s never happened over here. It was a really great golf course. And just a really fun day.”

Homa was speaking to the press via Zoom as he was announced as the next big name to join the Genesis Scottish Open field.

He explained that although the course at the Renaissance Club isn’t a traditional links, playing there along with the historic layout at North Berwick last year made for a perfect introduction to links golf before taking on the Old Course. 

“When we got to the Renaissance Club, my coach and my putting coach are European, and they were saying how this isn’t a true links golf course. And I didn’t really understand what they meant, because I had no knowledge of what it was supposed to be.

“It was really firm, it was fast, I felt like there was a lot of creative shots you had to hit. So, it looked the same, but they were explaining, that North Berwick or wherever is your traditional one, Renaissance Club would be a modern version. 

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“Once we did get to go to North Berwick, I understood what they meant. And that was actually a great precursor to go to St. Andrews the next week, because I understood, not that it matters how you have to play in that week, but I at least got to understand what people are talking about. 

“The Renaissance Club is awesome. It is different, there’s not as many run ups, there’s a little bit more trickery and when you are out of position as far as getting it up to the middle of the greens.

“It has some really unique holes and some opportunities to score, but it also has holes and pin locations where you are doing what you would do at a traditional links course, which is kind of blasting it past the pin towards the middle of the green and then two putting.

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“I thought it had a great blend of everything. Again, I’m kind of a novice when it comes to golf over there. But I got a bit of a crash course and I think that should hopefully help me coming into the event this year.” 

The Genesis Scottish Open, which is a co-sanctioned event with the PGA Tour, will get underway on July 13 at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick.

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Lewis Fraser As bunkered’s Performance Editor, Lewis oversees the content that’s designed to make you a better player. From the latest gear to tuition, nutrition, strategy and more, he’s the man. A graduate of the University of Stirling, Lewis joined bunkered in 2021. Formerly a caddie at Castle Stuart Golf Links, he is a member of Bathgate Golf Club where he plays off four.

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