The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is one of the world´s leading golf events. It is a magnet for golfers from every corner of the world and a celebration of links golf, which many believe is the purest form of the game. In 2011 we are celebrating the 11th edition of the event which will be played over three golf courses at St Andrews (Old Course), Kingsbarns and Carnoustie starting with the first round tomorrow.
The popularity of the event seems to grow every year. It is a real draw to the Kingdom of Fife bringing in celebrities and famous golfers and attracting visitors and locals in good numbers to sample the atmosphere and rub shoulders with some famous faces. With cocktail parties and dinners and the golf itself you never know quite whom you might spot.
Everything seems much more relaxed than other golf championships and with free entry on the first three days you really can get close to the action. While the likes of Hugh Grant, Michael Douglas and Tico Torres add a little glamour it is the pro golfers who are the real stars this week. The field could hardly be much stronger. There are 15 players in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking, 13 Major Champions, eight European Tour Number Ones and 99 winners of European Tour Events. Three Scottish players, Paul Lawrie (2001), Stephen Gallacher (2004) and Colin Montgomerie (2005) have won the championship which is pretty good going for the country which gave us the game.
It is undoubtedly the magic of St Andrews as the Home of Golf, the stunning beauty of Kingsbarns and the true challenge of Carnoustie that have a huge role to play in the overall significance of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Last year´s winner Germany´s Martin Kaymer summed it up at yesterday´s press conference: “I think the Dunhill was my last win in the last year so to be able to finish off the season winning at St Andrews was kind of like a fairy tale. It was beautiful.”
Martin Kaymer will aim to become the first player to successfully defend the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He has already defended the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship this season. Should he win again in Scotland, he would become just the fourth golfer in European Tour history to successfully defend multiple tournaments in the same season following giants like Seve Ballesteros, Ian Woosnam and Tiger Woods.
It will be an exciting few days ahead of us when the tournament officially starts tomorrow. The glitzy opening reception took place last night at the marquee behind the 17th green of the Old Course. The stars were out in force and if it wasn’t quite the red carpet it was certainly high on glamour. The well-appointed marquee offered champagne, exotic cocktails, comfy sofas, beautiful decorations and a never-ending stream of delicious canapés. The 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen was in pretty relaxed mood having a lively chat with a group of friends and the American film star Michael Douglas showed all the signs of being happy to be back at the Dunhill Links jumping cheerily into the arms of a friend of his to give him a welcome embrace.
Unlike last year, when countless layers were necessary to survive in the coldness of the media centre and outside, it was a distinctly Mediterranean climate in the Auld Grey Toun. Apparently it is warmer here than New York, Berlin and Istanbul – which certainly makes a welcome change! Long may it last!
To learn more about the happening at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship please follow this blog.
Posted on September 28, 2011 by admin@golfcomms