For the first time in its 132-year history, Gullane Golf Club will welcome a European Tour event next summer. The classic links will host the 2015 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and in doing so will welcome back a world-class field of golfers to East Lothian.
The tournament, which is played the week before The Open Championship, is one of the best supported on the European Tour. The staging of the event at Gullane, which has three renowned courses with two being ranked among the best in Scotland, is seen as ideal for Scotland's blue-riband golf tournament.
Robert Dick, captain of Gullane Golf Club, noted: "We are truly honoured to be hosting the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Gullane in 2015. 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, which is free for any youngster to play, 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."
He continued: "We have three stunning courses that epitomise classic links golf with perfect seaside lies on our fairways, fast-running greens and well-placed bunkers. But we also have magnificent views as the courses make their way over Gullane Hill. When the wind blows members and visitors face an exacting challenge. It will be fascinating to see how the world's best players face up to the test."
Although this will be the first time a European Tour event has been played over the historic links, Gullane Golf Club has been the setting for a number of championships including the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship on four occasions (the first being in 1897) and Final Qualifying for the Open Championship five times.
Both Gullane No. 1 and Gullane No. 2 have been used as Open qualifying venues. For the 2015 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, holes from each will be combined to form a championship course of over 7,000 yards.
George O'Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: "Scotland's First Minister, the Right Honourable Alex Salmond, and Aberdeen Asset Management Chief Executive, Martin Gilbert, have been the driving force behind the recent success of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and today we salute their efforts to showcase two of Scotland's superb links courses.
"Together with the Scottish Government and Aberdeen Asset Management, The European Tour is delighted to announce Gullane and Castle Stuart as the next two venues for the championship. At Gullane, we will be treated to one of the game's most historical venues, while Castle Stuart will once again showcase a truly modern links test."
Club Secretary Stephen Anthony commented: "At Gullane, we have over 1,000 acres of land and the opportunity to create a layout specifically suited to the demands of the modern game and the requirements of a 21st century championship. We also have a membership with a proven track record of volunteering for important occasions. We are very confident that Gullane will stage an exceptional event."
First played in 1972, the Scottish Open has been held at a number of prestigious courses including St Andrews, Gleneagles, Carnoustie, Loch Lomond, Castle Stuart and currently Royal Aberdeen.