Perthshire venue Milnathort Golf Club is looking forward to shining on the national stage when it hosts the final of the inaugural Scottish Golf R&A 9-Hole Championship this summer.
An exciting new free-to-enter event on the domestic calendar, it offers club members a dream opportunity to play at Carnoustie on the eve of July’s Open Championship.
As Scottish Golf continues to encourage shorter formats of the game, each affiliated club is invited to host a 9-hole qualifying event during the early part of the season, with the winning pair from each club earning their place at Milnathort on Friday 15 June.
The event forms part of the qualifying process to find Scotland’s finalists for The R&A’s 9-Hole Championship, where winning pairs from the four Home Nations will savour the chance of a lifetime to tee up at Carnoustie just days before The Open commences.
Kenny Duncan, the Captain at Milnathort, is excited for all connected with the easily accessible, beautiful 9-hole venue near Kinross as they prepare to welcome golfers from all over the country. Indeed, in excess of 50 clubs have already registered to host a qualifier over the first few weeks since the event was announced.
He said: “It’s a great honour for the club and we are really looking forward to the event in June. It’s a terrific feather in the cap for Milnathort and we’re all over the moon.
“We have seen our membership push for more and more 9-hole competitions, as 18 holes can be too time-consuming for a lot of people nowadays, or too tiring for older players. Nine-hole medals are proving very popular for us.”
Duncan says golfers are in for a treat at Milnathort and he continued: “People have a misconception sometimes about 9-hole courses, that they are maybe inferior due to a lack of variety. But Milnathort has a variety of different tees and greens, so it doesn’t just feel like you are playing a 9-hole course.
“Overall, our course offers the perfect mix of challenge and forgiveness for golfers of all ages and abilities. It may be a little shorter than other courses, but it’s tighter, so you have to be careful with club selection.”
Part of the national member benefits package, the 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 the criteria – of which there are almost 300 nationwide – is invited to host a 9-hole stableford qualifying event before the end of May.
Eleanor Cannon, Executive Chair of Scottish Golf, welcomed the new event and said: “Scotland has 158 nine-hole courses, while many others have a 9-hole Standard Scratch Score. The new Championship gives us a fantastic platform to showcase what the country has to offer.
“We are keen to encourage the shorter format of the game to give those with time constraints more opportunities to play competitive golf. It’s great to see more and more clubs embrace this and we look forward to welcoming golfers of all ages and abilities to our newest national championship. There is no better incentive than the chance to play in front of the stands at The Open.”
Scotland’s top four pairings from the Milnathort final will join qualifiers from England, Ireland and Wales in front of the iconic stands at Carnoustie on Saturday 14 July.
Entries are now officially open with Scottish clubs encouraged to register their event via the link above and below.