Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Wilkinson Travel promoting new 2016 programmes

Wilkinson Travel Services offer golfing holiday packages to Scotland's traditional and well know golf courses and also give the visitor the chance to explore the lesser know courses within Scotland which are well worth a visit.

Like all members of SIGTOA they tailor golf tours to best suit size of group, budget and playing ability. Just tell them what's on your wish list and they'll do the rest.

Open Championship 2016

Take time to browse through a selection of itineraries that will allow you to watch the Open Championship at Royal Troon and play on some of Scotland’s iconic Championship courses.As with everything they do it is tailor made to suit your exact requirements please get in touch with them if there are other options you would like quoted.

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Carnoustie Country

Enjoy great golf and accommodation on Scotland's East Coast

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Find out more about Wilkinson Travel Services on the SIGTOA website.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Two New Tours from Morton Golf Holidays

SIGTOA member Morton Golf Holidays are promoting two new golf and whisky tours for 2016 on their website. This is definitely one is for the golfers out there who also enjoy a dram combining the Home of Golf with  Uisge beatha, the Water of Life!

Director Peter Craigon explained further,
“Having worked for a long time in the whisky industry, and being fortunate enough to be made a ‘Keeper of the Quaich’, I am in a unique position to combine the finest golf courses across Scotland with the most prestigious and renowned whisky distilleries to create the perfect bespoke Golf and Whisky Tour for our clients in 2016.” 
The two exciting additions feature both wonderful golf and classic malts. 

New Morton Golf Holidays Whisky and Golf Tour

  • Day 1 – Arrive – stay in Gleneagles for 3 nights 
  • Day 2 – Gleneagles Kings + Tullibardine Distillery VIP tour
  • Day 3 – Deanston Distillery VIP Tour and visit the Trossachs
  • Day 4 – Gleneagles PGA + Famous Grouse VIP Tour - Stay in St Andrews for 4 nights
  • Day 5 – Kingsbarns + VIP Distillery Tour
  • Day 6 – Edinburgh City Tour + Scotch Whisky Experience Tour
  • Day 7 – Old Course + whisky tasting
  • Day 8 – Depart
Slightly different is the new Golf and History Tour too, back to Peter again,
"This one is for the golfers out there who want to find out why Scotland attracts people from all over the world to savour our national heritage. The trip typically combines great golf with a flavour of some of Scotland's most historic venues. The old Tom Morris talk is great fun too and highly informative"
New Morton Golf Holidays Golf and History Tour
  • Day 1 – Arrive – stay in Gleneagles for 3 nights 
  • Day 2 – Gleneagles Kings + Scone Palace accompanied tour
  • Day 3 – Accompanied tours of Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument 
  • Day 4 – Gleneagles Queens Course and local history talk - Stay in St Andrews for 4 nights
  • Day 5 – Crail Balcomie and Golf History talk
  • Day 6 – Accompanied Edinburgh City Tour 
  • Day 7 – Old Course + Old Tom Morris Talk
  • Day 8 – Depart
As ever all bookings subject to availability. 

For more information on these two Tours please con us direct at info@mortongolf.com or find out more about Morton Golf Holidays on the SIGTOA website.

European Golf Team Championships 2018

A unifying and vibrant brand has been launched by the participating sports to promote the new European Championships which will be staged for the first time in Glasgow and Berlin between the 1st and 12th August 2018 but the interesting part of this is the inclusion of golf for the first time.

A new golf team championship will be part of the multi-sport event, joining the existing European Championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon.

The European Golf Team Championships will take place at the Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course. The Golf event will be staged over 5 days and include men’s team, women’s team and mixed team competition. Two male and female athletes per nation will participate, with the top 16 European nations included.

Keith Waters, The European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “It is very exciting for Golf Europe to be invited to join some of Europe’s leading sports in the inaugural European Sports Championships, with three new European Golf Team Championships for female, male and mixed teams.

“This is part of our vision of encouraging all European nations to participate in golf, and it is fitting that Gleneagles will host the first staging of this event, having been the venue for last year’s Ryder Cup, when Europe memorably united through team golf.”

The new European Championships logo was unveiled at an event in Glasgow, attended by Great Britain swimmer Ross Murdoch, who spoke of his “golden moment” when he won Commonwealth Games gold in the pool in 2014 in Glasgow and said he could not wait for the prospect of another chance to be a champion as part of a multi-sport event in front of a home crowd.

The dynamic Mark of a Champion is the star-like logo representing the vision at the heart of the multi-sport championships brand – to create a must-attend, must-watch experience that elevates the status of European Champions.

Jamie Hepburn, Scottish Government Minister for Sport, said: “I’m delighted that the Scottish Government has been able to support the 2018 European Championships. This is a totally new concept in European sport, so it’s tremendous that we can be at the forefront of that, welcoming all these world class athletes to Glasgow, and other venues across Scotland. We have a growing reputation when it comes to hosting major events like this, and I’m sure the people of Scotland will embrace these championships as only they can.”

It will be interesting

Friday, 12 February 2016

Mickelson, McDowell and Stenson confirmed for Castle Stuart

The Scottish Open is returning again this year to Castle Stuart Links between Inverness and Nairn this year and the big names are lining up again to hone their links golfing skills before heading south west to Troon in Ayrshire for The Open.

SIGTOA members will as usual be out in force with their clients in The Highlands for the event which when back to back with The Open being in Scotland offers a wonderful chance for visitors to watch two massive events and play some superb golf alongside.

Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson will this year renew rivalries in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links, where the popular American took the title in 2013 before lifting the Claret Jug the following week.

Five-time Major Champion Mickelson, World Number Five Stenson and former winner Graeme McDowell are among the star names so far confirmed for the 34th edition of Scotland’s national Open, which returns to the stunning Inverness venue from July 7-10, 2016.

Stenson led by two shots going into the final round at Castle Stuart three years ago, only to be pipped to the prize by Mickelson, who produced a trademark flop shot in the play-off with Branden Grace to secure his first victory in a regular European Tour event.

Mickelson cited that win as a key component in his subsequent triumph at Muirfield, and the 45 year old is hopeful of achieving another Scottish double when he warms up for The Open Championship at Royal Troon Golf Club with his seventh straight appearance – and 14th overall – in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

Mickelson said: “I’m always excited about returning to Scotland, and particularly to Castle Stuart. I believe winning there in 2013 was key to my success the next week at The Open Championship.

“Beyond that, the nation is the home of golf and I really appreciate the fans’ golfing knowledge and their respect for the game. It’s always one of the highlights of my year when I compete in Scotland.”

If you want to find out more about golf trips that include either or both the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart or the Open at Royal Troon contact one of the Scottish Incoming Golf Tour Operators directly through the SIGTOA website.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Barra seek Clubhouse support

An endearing plea for help came our way from one of shall we say Scotland's more remote little golf courses!

Located on the tiny Hebridean Island of Barra, you will find the most Westerly Golf course in the UK!  The voluntary run Club provides a 9 hole course on one of the most unique, rugged landscapes with stunning views across the Atlantic.   Ok.....you may have to share some of it with cows and sheep, but they rarely distract you from the game!

But beauty comes with drawbacks.

The unpredictable weather in this highly exposed area provides no shelter for players.  Weekly, these active volunteers are maintaining the area. From fixing old machinery to enable them to do their grass cutting, maintaining the greens, fencing, cleaning and clearing of ditches.  A few months ago, the 2nd green collapsed due to erosion, but they quickly prepared another area to ensure play went on.....!

Formed in 1992, this Club runs with little financial support.  Other than membership fees and an honesty box, a price could not be put on the time and efforts that these volunteers provide.  But, they do it out of satisfaction - seeing their efforts being enjoyed by the large number of tourists and locals alike.

But, they now need help to fund a small club house in this unique but wild area.  This will provide warmth and shelter, kitchen, wc facilities and storage.   It is a necessity to ensure the future of the Club.  It is the main issue raised through feedback from users and tourists.  The only facility on the course are dilapidated containers - used for storage....and shelter!  An eye sore in such a beautiful location.  Help us remove them!

Can you help?  The group are not shy of hard work - this is evidential through their dedication and efforts on the greens.

For anyone that helps, they would warmly invite them to our course!   And possibly for a cup of tea too...

If you feel like helping out you can go to their Crowdfunder page here

Monday, 8 February 2016

Old Course to host the British Seniors 2018

As part of an ongoing series of announcements on major golf events for Scotland - including the Curtis Cup - the latest news sees the British Seniors head for THe Old Course at St. Andrews in 2018. It's probably been a surprise to many that the Seniors' open has actually never been played at the Home of Golf before but this is probably due to the calendar of events that are already in place.

It's some time away (July 26-29, 2018) and proabably a little early to start making travel plans but of course their will be a SIGTOA member who can help you even now!

The announcement, which was made jointly by The R&A and the European Tour at The Home of Golf, completes the full set of Major Championships to be held over the Old Course.

The 144th Open in 2015 was the 29th occasion on which the Championship has been played at St Andrews. The Ricoh British Women’s Open has been played there on two occasions and the Old Course will now become the 13th venue to accommodate the Senior Open Championship, which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary with a return to another famous Scottish venue at Carnoustie.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, and European Tour CEO, Keith Pelley, welcomed the decision to bring the Senior Open to an iconic location with which many of the world’s greatest senior golfers have a strong affinity.

The announcement also received unanimous support from several golfing greats, including five-time Champion Golfer of the Year and three-time Senior Open winner, Tom Watson, of the United States, who was a prime instigator behind the event heading to St Andrews for the first time.

Although he never claimed the Claret Jug at The Home of Golf – famously finishing tied second behind Seve Ballesteros alongside another European legend in Bernhard Langer in 1984 – Watson spoke of his desire to compete one last time over the famous links.

The 66-year-old made what he believed would be his final flourish on the Old Course during The Open last year, when he bade an emotional farewell to the Championship, which defined him as a golfer, on the Swilcan Bridge.

Watson is now set to return for one last hurrah, however, alongside a number of champions who can boast victories at St Andrews, including Sir Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie and John Daly, who turns 50 this year and is set to make his Senior debut at Carnoustie this July.

He said: “I am thrilled at the news that the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex will be staged over the Old Course for the first time in 2018. Only last July, I played what I believed would be my final competitive round of golf at The Open, and the reception I received as darkness fell on that Friday evening will stay with me always.

“However, The R&A, the European Tour and the St Andrews Links Trust have shown the spirit of cooperation that exists in the game. By agreeing to bring this wonderful Championship to the Home of Golf in July 2018, they have allowed not just me, but many other great champions, an opportunity to return to a venue that means so much to everyone who plays the game.”

Sir Nick Faldo, who captured the second of his three Open victories at St Andrews in 1990, also bade farewell to The Open on the same Friday as Watson in 2015 but he is already thinking about dusting down the clubs to compete in the Senior Open Presented by Rolex in 2 ½ years’ time.

The six-time Major Champion and Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “It is absolutely fantastic to see the Senior Open Championship going to St Andrews in 2018.  This certainly gives me another golfing goal and I only hope my game is good enough to give it a go on the Old Course!"

Montgomerie was part of the three-man Scotland team who claimed the Dunhill Cup in 1995. Exactly a decade later the three-time Senior Major Champion finished a credible runner-up behind Tiger Woods in The Open over the Old Course, before going one better in that year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

He commented: “This is great news and will surely deliver the best field ever assembled for the Senior Open Championship. All credit to the powers that be to get the Senior Open at St Andrews for the first time. Even now, more than two years out, I am excited about the prospect. It’s a real coup for The R&A, the European Senior Tour, St Andrews Links Trust, Rolex and everyone associated with the event to get us playing senior golf at St Andrews.

“It will be great to see Tom Watson back, at the age of 68, where we thought he would play in a major for the last time in 2015. However, there will be a lot of other players, like Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer for instance, who will be excited by the prospect. It will be a real celebration of over-50s golf.”

For more information on watching golf in Scotland contact any of the members of SIGTOA through the website.