It was all smiles Sunday morning at Royal Aberdeen as a successful week finished up with the announcement of Gullane and Castle Stuart as the next two Aberdeen Asset Management Opens, with a West Coast date eyed for 2017.
Martin Dempster reports on the exciting news that figures to keep building this tournament's momentum and also this fun exchange regarding Rory McIlroy's assertion that Gil Hanse and Mark Parsinen's Castle Stuart is "not a true links test."
The two-time major winner is likely to approve of Sunday’s confirmation that a composite course made up from 15 holes of Gullane No 1 and three from Gullane No 2 will host the tournament next year.
But it remains to be seen whether he will change his opinion of Castle Stuart to play there in 2016 ahead of the Open at Royal Troon.
Castle Stuart general manager Stuart McColm said: “The disappointment for me is that Rory has never been. I don’t know how he can say something about a golf course he has never seen.
“Why doesn’t he come up there and play it before making up his mind.”
Thanks to reader Brooks for this unbylined BBC story that notes this about Gullane, for those not aware of what a sensational place this will be for the Scottish Open. Bringing a big event back to East Lothian at a course not named Muirfield is monumental for this event, which might have suffered had it gone to the beautiful but ultra-exclusive Renaissance Club.
Captain of Gullane Robert Dick added: "The club has a history that stretches back to 1882 but golf has been a part of Gullane for well over 350 years. Golf is at Gullane's core, the village is surrounded by courses and the club's children's course, runs through its very centre.
"To bring the Scottish Open to this golfing heartland is something our members are proud of, and I believe we will provide a fitting venue for Scotland's top golf tournament."
Of the club's three courses, holes from Gullane No. 1 and Gullane No. 2, which have previously been used as Open Championship qualifying venues, will form a course of over 7,000 yards for next year's Scottish Open.
Below is a before and after aerial depicting the composite routing, which will unfortunately eliminate Gullane No. 1's first tee for infrastructure, but mercifully has the finish near the enchanting town and incorporates some really special holes from the No. 2 course. Click on the images to enlarge: