Volunteering at The Scottish Open

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 8, 2018 16:27

Next month Gullane GC is hosting two top competitions, including The Scottish Open. It’s thought about 850 will volunteer to help at this European Tour event alone. The Golf Business speaks to the club about what this process entails – and to find out more about how the preparations for these events are going.

Historic Gullane Golf Club is set to welcome world-class golfers to East Lothian this summer when it hosts Scotland’s National Open for the second time.

The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open will return to the links at Gullane from July 12-15, 2018, while female golf stars will play there for the first time in The Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open over the same course, from July 26-29, 2018.

The renowned club, which is 20 miles east of Edinburgh and has three picturesque courses – two being ranked among the best in Scotland – has secured hundreds of volunteers to ensure its smooth running. It expects its final total for the European Tour event to reach 850 volunteers, who will enjoy all the action, with many having exclusive access ‘inside the ropes’.

More than 350 volunteers join the tournament team from both Gullane and Gullane Ladies’ members’ clubs, and the remaining numbers come from a wide range of other golf clubs across the region, including juniors and a team of colleagues from Aberdeen Standard Investments, with ages ranging from 16 to 70 years upwards.

The volunteers will be involved in a whole host of duties such as walking scorer, scoreboard carrier and scoreboard operator. Other roles include hole marshals, walking marshals, ball collectors and distributors on the practice ground and sorting, handing out and collecting caddies’ bibs. Some will also get the chance to transport players by golf buggy to and from the first tee and bus drive players to the pro-am.

Overseeing proceedings will be chief scorer Tom Walker and chief marshal Richard Gibb, who will be experiencing his second Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club.

Richard said: “We are delighted by the huge turnout of volunteers as the club gets set to stage both internationally-famed tournaments in July. The TV coverage goes to a worldwide audience so it is essential that the event runs smoothly for the players and spectators alike. Volunteering is a big commitment but our volunteers will get the chance to contribute to an incredibly exciting event with an atmosphere like no other. They are all fans of the sport so it’s a rare opportunity to see some of the world’s top talent up close.”

Course manager at Gullane Golf Club, Stewart Duff, added: “A lot of planning and preparation goes into a tournament such as The Scottish Open. We work closely with the European Tour officials on the course set up leading up to the event and any course alterations are completed 12 months in advance of the competition. We regularly change planned applications of nutrients, soil conditioners and sand applications to make sure the course is in tournament condition.

“We also organise support machinery and volunteers to help out during the week including accommodation and catering for the staff. In the one or two weeks prior to the event, our mowing regime starts to increase; this means that our team are out two to three times a day mowing fairways and greens to ensure we get the surfaces just right for the tournament.”

GULLANE, SCOTLAND – JULY 12: Rickie Fowler (4th L front) of the United States celebrates with the trophy alongside the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon (3rd R front) MSP, and volunteers after winning the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club on July 12, 2015 in Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Golf has been played over the links at Gullane for more than 350 years. Today, Gullane Golf Club is one of Scotland’s most prestigious members’ clubs. Its three golf courses are simply known by number reflecting their age: Gullane No. 1 (1884), Gullane No. 2 (1898) and Gullane No. 3 (1909).

The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, which is played the week before the Open Championship, is part of the European Tour’s Rolex Series – a premium category of tournaments on the Race to Dubai, each with a minimum prize fund of US $7million. The Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies’ Scottish Open offers free entry to all who register on the official website for what is one of the premier events on the Ladies’ European Tour and LPGA Tour.

For ticket information on The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open visit www.asiscottishopen.com.

For ticket information on The Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies’ Scottish Open visit ladiesscottishopen.com.

For more information about Gullane Golf Club, please visit www.gullanegolfclub.com



Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 8, 2018 16:27
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