THE lasting popularity of two long-standing amateur tournaments staged on some of Scotland’s top links courses has been highlighted by the prized places in this year’s events being snapped up in record time.
The Eden Trophy at St Andrews and the Craw’s Nest Tassie at Carnoustie were both sold out online within minutes, with golfers from all corners of the globe grabbing the chance to play competitively at the two world-renowned venues for a fraction of the daily green fee.
The first 120 places in the Eden Trophy, which is played over the New, Eden, Strathtyrum and Jubilee courses in August and involves two rounds of stroke-play followed by a match-play knock-out, were gone in just one minute and 27 seconds after the entry process opened last week.
“In five minutes and 19 seconds, we had received 250 applications,” said Mike Woodcock, public relations manager for St Andrews Links Trust, which runs the event along with a ladies’ equivalent for the Strathtyrum Trophy. Held at the same time, it also remains very popular. “The first 40 places were gone in that in one minute and 44 seconds and the remaining 62 spots were filled within minutes, too,” added Woodcock.
The Eden event was first played in 1919, while the Strathtyrum tournament was inaugurated in 1989 to complement the success of the men’s event. The entry fee for both events is £120, which represents superb value for money, the rate for a round on the New Course alone at that time of the year being £70.
“Both tournaments attract entries from overseas each year as well as from throughout the UK,” said Woodcock. “I think it shows that people really enjoy the format of these tournaments and playing on top-class links courses. It is obviously good for golf tourism to have these events each year which bring people in to stay in this area.”
The Craw’s Nest Tassie, or Tassie as it is known by locals and regular competitors, is also doing wonders for tourism on the other side of the Tay Estuary.
All 339 places in this year’s event – it was originally held in June following its launch in 1927 but now occupies a September slot – were snapped up within 10 minutes of its online application system going live. In addition, 80 reserve places have also been filled for the event, which costs £195 to enter and is staged over the Championship course and the neighbouring Burnside.
“The first entry hit our screens literally seconds after the system went live and we hardly had time to move before all 339 places were snapped up,” said Colin McLeod, golf services manager at Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee.