changes are in the pipeline to the “draft” proposal for the composite course at Gullane to stage next year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
The definitive layout containing a combination of holes from the No 1 and No 2 courses at the East Lothian venue is expected to be confirmed later this month following discussions between the European Tour and club officials.
“There has been some discussion about some other options, but I don’t think anyone has signed off on the definitive layout yet,” tournament director Peter Adams told The Scotsman yesterday.
“We are going through the process of looking at all the possibilities and that is part of a natural process to find what is going to be the best course for the tournament.
“I would think that we’d like to have decided on it a couple of weeks from now.”
It is understood that the seventh and eighth holes on No 2 are now being looked at while the par-3 fourth on No 1 – not included on the draft proposal – could also be restored.
“It’s not due to any concerns –that would be the wrong word,” added Adams.
“It’s just a case of looking at all the possibilities and, as with all these things, there are a few pluses and minuses in each instance.
“It’s a matter of weighing these up and then coming up with what we think is the best option. It’s absolutely not a struggle – it’s really more about looking at all the good options that are available to us. You might call it a nice problem to have.”
While this will be the first time a composite course has been used for the Scottish Open, it is a fairly common practice on circuits around the world, including the European Tour.
“The Hong Kong Open is staged on a composite layout from the various courses at Fanling. That’s just one that comes to mind immediately,” said Adams, who predicted when Gullane was officially awared the 2015 event in July that the course which ultimately takes shape will be “a heck of a layout”.
“It is quite common when you have a complex of three courses and, in some respects, why would you not as you are getting to choose the best holes available to you.
“In some ways, it is an advantage to have that but, at the same time, you have to look at the logistics of staging a tournament on a composite course as you need land in certain areas that is going to be advantageous to the organisation as well.”
In another first for the Scottish Open, it was announced last month that a new 54-hole qualifier for the event will be staged at nearby North Berwick next year.
The qualifying event is set to take place on 4-6 July, with six spots in the Gullane showpiece up for grabs.