MORAY Golf Club has landed the honour of hosting this year’s Scottish boys’ and girls’ amateur championships.
And all golf clubs in this area are being encouraged to sign up for a new nine-hole challenge with an opportunity to play at carnoustie before this year’s Open championship.
The best young male and female golfers in the country will compete over Lossiemouth’s Moray GC links’ old and new courses between July 1 and 6.
Moray has previously earned the right to stage a PGA Europro Tour event in 2013 and a Scottish Open qualifier in 2016.
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Scottish Golf’s calendar of events this year also includes a new national 9-hole final, with the governing body encouraging more clubs to adopt shorter formats of the game.
The tourney, at a course yet to be decided, will form part of the qualifying process to find Scotland’s finalists for The R&A’s 9-hole championship, where winning pairs from the home nations will savour the chance of a lifetime to tee up at Carnoustie just days before The Open commences.
Part of the national member benefits package, the free-to-enter 9-hole championship is open to golfers of all ages and abilities who are members of clubs possessing a designated 9-hole standard scratch score (SSS).
Each affiliated club meeting this criteria – of which there are almost 300 – will be invited to host a 9-hole stableford qualifying event before the end of May.
The leading pairs from each club will tee up at the national final in June, before Scotland’s top four pairings join qualifiers from England, Ireland and Wales in front of the iconic stands at Carnoustie on Saturday July 14.
Fraser Munro, head of events at Scottish Golf, said: “Nine-hole golf has long been part of the game’s fabric in Scotland but we need to do more to promote it to a wider audience and this fantastic event gives us a higher profile platform to achieve this.
“The incentive of playing at Carnoustie in the build-up to The Open is a dream come true and we would encourage as many clubs as possible to sign up and give their members a chance of taking part.”
In a further move by Scottish Golf to address pace of play concerns, ‘Ready Golf’ will be adopted at all championships from 2018.
The initiative encourages players to play when they are ready to do so, rather than adhering to the traditional ‘farthest from the hole plays first’ stipulation in the rules of golf.
Munro added: “We are committed to speeding up the game and making competitive golf more enjoyable for everyone. We acknowledge slow play continues to be a problem but believe adopting ‘Ready Golf’ is a proactive step towards addressing this issue.”
The domestic season will open with the Scottish boys’ and girls’ open stroke play championships taking place at Montrose and Monifieth respectively (April 4-6), while Royal Troon’s Portland and Old courses will once again welcome the Helen Holm Scottish women’s open stroke play.
Scottish Golf’s flagship women’s and men’s Amateur Championships will be staged over Elie (June 5-9) and Blairgowrie (July 31 – August 5), before The King’s Course at Gleneagles hosts the Carrick Neill Scottish men’s open stroke play for the first time in late August, a week before the World amateur team championship in Ireland.
Elsewhere, the new look Loretto Golf Academy-sponsored Scottish boys and girls’ under-14s events are being split into two separate championships for the first time in 2018. These will run simultaneously in Edinburgh at Murrayfield and Turnhouse, with the girls’ event also including an under-16 category.
“Our national championships provide a platform for players to benchmark themselves against not only the best players in this country but the many golfers travelling internationally to compete,” added Munro.
“They also provide a great showcase for clubs to market them themselves to the many thousands of golfers at home and abroad who take an interest in our events.”
Scottish Golf’s full programme of club handicap events will be announced early in 2018, with the PING Scottish mixed championship, Revive Active Scottish women’s regional medal finals and Belhaven captains and secretaries’ championship joining The R&A 9-hole championship on the calendar for the year ahead.
The venue for the national 9-hole final in June will be confirmed early in 2018. Further information on all of Scottish Golf’s events can be viewed on the Championships page on the Scottish Golf Website.
Entries open at the end of January. Clubs wishing to register for the national 9-Hole championship should visit here.
2018 Scottish Golf National Championships
•Scottish Boys’ Open Stroke Play – Montrose (4 – 6 April)
•Scottish Girls’ Open Stroke Play – Monifieth (4 – 6 April)
•Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Stroke Play – Troon (20 – 22 April)
•Scottish Women’s Amateur – Golf House Club, Elie (5 – 9 June)
•Scottish Boys’ Area Team – Bothwell Castle (10 June)
•Scottish Golf R&A 9-Hole Championship National Final – TBC (June)
•Scottish Senior Men’s Open – Irvine (20 -22 June)
•Scottish Senior Women’s Open – Prestwick St Nicholas (26 – 29 June)
•Scottish Boys & Girls Amateur – Moray (1 – 6 July)
•Scottish Boys’ Under-16 Open – Fortrose & Rosemarkie (10 – 12 July)
•Scottish Men’s Amateur – Blairgowrie (31 July – 5 August)
•Loretto Golf Academy Scottish Girls’ Under 14/16 – Murrayfield (13 – 14 August)
•Loretto Golf Academy Scottish Boys’ Under-14 – Turnhouse (13 – 14 August)
•Carrick Neill Scottish Men’s Open Stroke Play – Gleneagles King’s (27 – 29 August)
•GolfKings Scottish Men’s Area Team Championship – Cawder (7 – 9 September)
•Scottish Women’s County Finals – Kilmacolm (14 – 16 September)
•Senior Men’s Home Internationals – Southerness (18 – 20 September)
•Scottish Men’s Club Championship – Kinross (23 September)