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Boys Keep Swinging Towards Date In Nairn

Boys Keep Swinging Towards Date In Nairn

An international golfing tournament that helped spawn the careers of Rory McIllroy,  Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal is to be held at The Nairn Golf Club for the first time in over a quarter of a century.

The R&A, golf’s governing body, announced today (Wednesday, 17 December) the renowned Moray Firth links course will host the prestigious Boys Amateur Championship in 2017, an event it last staged in 1989.

The club, founded in 1887 and regarded as one of the best traditional links courses in Scotland, is also to host the Home Internationals event in 2016.

The tournaments mark a return to hosting leading championships at Nairn which was the venue for the Walker Cup in 1999 and the Curtis Cup in 2012.

They will also provide a major economic and visitor boost for the club which is part of the Highland Golf Links (HGL) partnership that promotes Play and Stay destination breaks in the north of Scotland.

The Boys Amateur Championship, which was held at Prestwick this year and will be held at Royal Birkdale next year and Muirfield in 2016, will come to Nairn from 15-20 August 2017. The nearby Nairn Dunbar course will host the qualifying rounds for the tournament.

A field of 252 of the world’s leading boy golfers will take part in the championship which featured 23 nationalities in the 2014 event, won by Sweden’s Oskar Bergqvist. Previous winners include Sergio Garcia, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sir Michael Bonallack, while Major Championship winners Sandy Lyle, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy have all played in the event.

Fraser Cromarty, CEO at The Nairn Golf Club and chairman of HGL, said: “We are delighted the R&A has given Nairn the honour of staging the 2017 Boys Amateur Championship. Hosting events like this and the Home Internationals in 2016 will put the club back on the golfing map where it should be.

“These prestigious occasions will showcase our wonderful links course and the wider Highlands which has a wealth of golfing attributes.”

The announcement was made by the R&A which revealed the dates of its Championships and International Matches in 2017.

Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said the venues chosen for the events are amongst the most renowned courses in Great Britain and Ireland, with illustrious histories and will provide wonderful tests of golf.

The Home Internationals, the premier amateur team event in Great Britain and Ireland, contested on an annual basis between Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales, comes to Nairn from 10-12 August 2016.

Ahead of the events, a series of improvements to Nairn’s driving range and pitching area are being carried out and will be ready for the new golfing season.

Individual bays will be removed from the driving range and will be replaced by a new, all-weather Huxley Golf practice mat that can have up to 20 golfers play at once.

The pitching area will also be upgraded to provide improved short game facilities, while players will also have access to free practice balls with the installation of a new machine.

In addition, the club will be upgrading the maintenance sheds for its nine full-time and four seasonal greenkeepers.

Fraser Cromarty added: “These improvements are part of our ongoing programme to provide the best facilities for our members and visitors, but they will also ensure we are a par with other venues hosting major events.”