Northern Open confirmed for Meldrum House

10/05/2013

Newly installed PGA in Scotland secretary Brian Mair has identified a list of priorities ranging from expanding the Tartan Tour to helping the Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Ladies Golfing Association stop the decline in club memberships.

The 49-year-old was speaking in the north-east this week to confirm that Meldrum House, Oldmeldrum will host the Northern Open for a fourth successive year from August 27-29.

The format will revert to a three-day event with 36 holes played on the final day.

"I consider myself a lucky man to have got this job," said the 49-year-old whose working background has been in sales and marketing with high-profile companies such as Glenmuir and Sunderland of Scotland.

"I am going to work my way round every club professional in Scotland to impress on them all how important they are, not only to their golf clubs but to the game in general. They have a responsibility to help promote golf and they will be the major beneficiaries from it.

"2014 is a big, big year for Scotland with the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles but, in many ways, I think 2015 is the big one for The PGA and its pros. The public interest in the game that the Ryder Cup will engender will give us a platform on which to build and launch new enterprises."

The Scottish PGA championship remains the highlight of the domestic year, to be staged over the Kings Course, Gleneagles from July 28-31.

In total there are nine Order of Merit events on the Tartan Tour 2013 calendar, the two aforementioned 72 holers, the long-standing 36 hole pro-ams at Dumfries and Deer Park and five 36-hole “Challenge Series” events.

The first of those was held at Spey Valley last week, and was won by Hayston’s Stephen Gray.

The other venues and dates are:

Cardrona (May 28-29), Duddingston (July 2-3), Rowallan Castle (July 15-16) and Brora/Tain on September 24-25.

Professionals who are not PGA members and low-handicap amateurs will once again be able to enter Challenge Series, provided they pay an affiliation fee to the series.

Order of Merit points will be awarded at each of those events, with the best six scores counting for each player’s Order of Merit points total.

Following an extremely successful staging of the inaugural three day pro-am sponsored by Tomatin Single Malt over Castle Stuart, Royal Dornoch and Nairn golf courses last year, the event returns to these same three venues in late September/early October.

A full field of 75 teams – 25 per venue, per day – would ensure the biggest ever prize pot available to those who play on the Tartan Tour, approximately £60,000.

The Carnegie Invitational at Skibo Castle will be staged on September 10-11 with the Paul Lawrie Invitational at Deeside Golf Club the following week from September 17 to 19.

Making a welcome return to the scene is the Glencruitten pro-am at Oban. This will be a 36 hole event, with a £16,000 prize-fund. However, it will not count towards the Order of Merit.

The West Lothian Golf Club, Linlithgow, will again stage the Scottish Young Professional's Championship, the most prestigious event open only to those who have yet to complete their PGA training, or to those who were fully qualified but still under the age of 25 on January 1 this year.

There are two other events in the Young Pros' Order of Merit  – the Shotts 54 hole pro-am and the 36-hole Sandy Pipey Masters at Royal Dornoch.

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