FIRST Minister Alex Salmond and Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert paid a visit to Gullane today to check it out as a potential Scottish Open venue.
Along with the European Tour, the three partners in the event are looking for future venues as part of a plan to showcase the ‘Home of Golf’ by moving it around the country.
After three years at Castle Stuart in Inverness, it is moving to Royal Aberdeen in July, with a return to Castle Stuart believed to have been pencilled in for 2016.
Gullane and near neighbour The Renaissance Club are believed to be the two courses in the running for next year, with Dundonald Links in Ayrshire a contender for the 2017 event.
“The First Minister and Martin Gilbert were at Gullane today,” confirmed Peter Adams, the Scottish Open championship director.
“It is part of an ongoing process of venue selection. It was an opportunity for the First Minister and Martin Gilbert to go and look at Gullane, but no decision has been reached.
“Martin Gilbert had not played Gullane before so this is one more page in the chapter, if you like.”
Asked if the same process had been carried out at other potential venues, Adams added: “Not necessarily as both of them may already have played those courses.”
George O’Grady, the European Tour chief executive, said recently that the three parties were in no rush to make a decision, but it seems as though an announcement about future venues could now be made during this year’s event on July 10-13. “That would be my gut feeling,” admitted Adams.