The Luffenham Heath Golf Club, near Stamford, Lincolnshire, will host Regional Qualifying for the 2013 Open Championship, it has been announced.
The course, widely regarded as one of the finest in the Midlands, has recently been upgraded and extended, and joins an elite list of 14 courses in Great Britain and Ireland to be selected by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews as venues for the first step towards qualification for the Open Championship at Muirfield, Scotland.
The return of top-flight professional and amateur golf to Luffenham Heath follows extensive investment in the course, which has been extended to 6,550 yards from the new Championship blue tees, with the addition of two new greens, six new tees, plus six new bunkers to catch longer-hitting players.
All 70 original bunkers have also been renovated, with extensive upgrading and a new maintenance regime overseen by recently appointed Head Greenkeeper Nick Nottingham, bringing the course's greens, green surrounds, fairways and tees to the highest professional standards.
Club Captain Michael Pring said: "To be awarded Regional Qualifying for the Open Championship is a great honour and underlines the outstanding quality of this historic golf course and the successful implementation of the changes we have made.
"The Luffenham Heath has hosted major amateur events in the past and has also welcomed some of the greatest professionals, including five-times Open Champions Harry Vardon and James Braid. Now the course, which has never looked or played better, is ready to be part of the world's oldest and most important major professional championship, the Open Championship."
The Luffenham Heath Golf Club, which opened in 1911, was designed by renowned golf course architect Harry Colt, also responsible for Top 100 courses including Wentworth, Sunningdale, Rye and Swinley Forest. Past captains of the Club include The Prince of Wales (1928), later to become the uncrowned Edward VIII.
Golfers from across the Midlands will have the opportunity to play the enhanced course this season as part of the club's annual Pro-Am on Friday September 3, 2010.
For more information and entries, call Club Secretary John Ingleby on tel 01780 720205 or visit: www.luffenhamheath.co.uk