ANOTHER high profile international golf tournament is heading to Carnoustie Country.
The 2012 World Hickory Open Championship will be played over the Monifieth Medal and Carnoustie Burnside courses on October 8 and 9.
“This is great news for all Carnoustie Country golf courses,” said Bill Miller, chairman of Monifieth Golf Links, as he welcomed Lionel Freedman, co-founder and director of the World Hickory Open to a preview visit of Monifieth Medal.
“International golf competitions of this standing heighten the profile of Carnoustie Country considerably and are a very effective form of global advertising.
“We know from past experience that once golfers have played Carnoustie Country once, they come back – and they also tell their fellow golfers at their home golf clubs about the experience of playing golf here.”
Mr Freedman explained that the World Hickory Open is a two-day golf tournament which provides amateur and professional golfers with the opportunity to compete in teams of three using traditional hickory-shafted golf clubs.
“The World Hickory Open should be played on historic links courses so Carnoustie Country’s Monifieth Medal and Carnoustie Burnside are ideal,” said Mr Freedman, who established the World Hickory Open in 2005.
As he instructed Bill and Monifieth Links golf manager Steve MacFarlane, both hickory novices, in the art of playing golf with a hickory-shafted club, he explained that approximately 120 golfers are expected to play in the tournament. He continued: “The World Hickory Open was previously held in East Lothian but it appears that the opportunity to play golf in an area widely-known as ‘the cradle of golf’ appeals to hickory club golfers across the globe.
“The early indicators are good, with entry numbers already higher than at this time last year and a very high quality field so we’re hopeful of an extremely successful 2012 tournament.”
Almost 30 teams from all over the world - including Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA - have already booked their place at the Hickory Open.
Mr Freedman revealed: “Interestingly, one of the Swedish teams includes a Scottish golf professional, Eric Dawson, who was born in Monifieth.“
He also stressed that entries from teams of local golfers are very welcome, as are school golf teams, with Loretto School having entered two teams.
“Experience of hickory golf is not vital, nor is it compulsory to wear traditional golfing gear such as plus fours, although many of our competitors do,” added Lionel. “And, although hickory clubs can be very unforgiving, playing a round of hickory golf is an experience never to be forgotten!”
Mr Miller was delighted to hear of the high numbers of hickory golfers who have already entered the World Hickory Open.
“Carnoustie Country is a fabulous – and highly-appropriate - location for this tournament,” said Bill. “As a golfer, I understand only too well why fellow golfers are so keen to play two of Carnoustie Country’s historic links courses and I’m sure many local golfers will also be keen to participate in this tournament.
“In addition, visiting golfers benefit from the high quality of the accommodation available, the 30 golf courses within a 40-minute drive and the great many activities on offer for non-golfing partners in Carnoustie Country.”
Entry to the 2012 World Hickory Open costs £150 per golfer, which includes a round of golf on the Monifieth Medal and Carnoustie Burnside courses, hire of hickory clubs, gala dinner and prizegiving.
To find out more about Carnoustie Country and its golf courses, including ‘stay and play’ packages, visit www.carnoustiecountry.com, ‘like’ the Carnoustie Country Facebook page or follow Carnoustie Country on Twitter. To find out more about the World Hickory Open Championship, or download an entry form, visit www.worldhickoryopen.com