Scottish Open Championship | Top 100 Golf Courses

After a couple of years at Carnoustie, in 1995 and 1996, the Scottish Open found its next long-term home at Loch Lomond. Due to contractual …

In 1986, a new sponsor (Bell’s the whisky firm) revived the championship and took it to Haggs Castle in Glasgow where it was in residence for only one edition before heading to the King's course at Gleneagles for the next eight years. Prize money tripled over this period of time, from a purse of £200,000 to £600,000, with the winner picking up 1/6th of the total on offer.

The competition was first held at Downfield in Dundee, with Neil Coles overcoming Brian Hugget at the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. The next year, the contest moved to the Old course at St Andrews but the following year’s tournament was cancelled when television coverage could not be agreed, leading to twelve years of non-activity from 1974 to 1985.

Nowadays, it’s played just before The Open so it gives a small number of players who have not already qualified the chance to participate in that event with a good performance in the Scottish Open. And with the tournament venue switching in recent times to links courses, it gives everybody playing in The Open some experience of playing seaside golf just before the main event takes place.

The Scottish Open has been a fixture on the European Tour schedule since 1972, when the 72-hole stroke play professional tournament first took place. Two editions of a “Scottish Open” took place back in the 1930s (on the King’s course at Gleneagles and Belleisle in Ayrshire) but the R&A didn’t recognize these as official championships and the intended third edition at Carnoustie in 1938 was cancelled.

The Scottish Open has been a fixture on the European Tour schedule since 1972, when the 72-hole stroke play professional tournament first took place. Two editions of a “Scottish Open” took place back in the 1930s (on the King’s course at Gleneagles and Belleisle in Ayrshire) but the R&A didn’t recognize these as official championships and the intended third edition at Carnoustie in 1938 was cancelled.

Nowadays, it’s played just before The Open so it gives a small number of players who have not already qualified the chance to participate in that event with a good performance in the Scottish Open. And with the tournament venue switching in recent times to links courses, it gives everybody playing in The Open some experience of playing seaside golf just before the main event takes place.

The competition was first held at Downfield in Dundee, with Neil Coles overcoming Brian Hugget at the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. The next year, the contest moved to the Old course at St Andrews but the following year’s tournament was cancelled when television coverage could not be agreed, leading to twelve years of non-activity from 1974 to 1985.

In 1986, a new sponsor (Bell’s the whisky firm) revived the championship and took it to Haggs Castle in Glasgow where it was in residence for only one edition before heading to the King's course at Gleneagles for the next eight years. Prize money tripled over this period of time, from a purse of £200,000 to £600,000, with the winner picking up 1/6th of the total on offer.

After a couple of years at Carnoustie, in 1995 and 1996, the Scottish Open found its next long-term home at Loch Lomond. Due to contractual restrictions, the first few editions were not called the “Scottish Open” but when this was sorted out in 2001 with the rights holder (Chubby Chandler’s ISM agency), the naming anomaly was retrospectively rectified.

All good things must come to an end, unfortunately, and the golf show on the Bonnie, Bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond concluded in 2011. From now on, it would move around the country to different links destinations in the north, east and west, starting with a three-year stint at Castle Stuart, outside Inverness, in the Scottish Highlands.

There have been only two multiple winners of the competition in the thirty-seven editions staged up until 2019, with golfers from sixteen different countries having their name inscribed on the trophy. Ian Woosnam (1987, 1990, 1996) and Ernie Els (2000, 2003) are the players with more than one engraving on the silverware while the one Scots-born professional to taste victory is Colin Montgomerie in 1999.

Loch Lomond has hosted a total of fifteen consecutive Scottish Opens between 1996 and 2010, followed by the King’s at Gleneagles with eight (from 1987 to 1994). You will find both Gullane No. 1 and Gullane No. 2 listed below as a composite course was used when the event was held at that East Lothian club.