Kingsbarns has reason to be happy on anniversary

MORE than 27,000 rounds were played at Kingsbarns this year - its tenth anniversary - with visitors including three former Open champions in Tom Watson, Gary Player and Lee Trevino.

The figure represents a 30 per cent rise on the previous year, with demand to play the Fife links being such that the season was extended by two weeks in November before its traditional winter shutdown.

"We are delighted with the way the season has gone, especially as we celebrated such a major milestone," said Stuart McEwen, the general manager.

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"We have now passed the 280,000-round mark since the course opened in July 2000 and that is testimony to the excellence of the course design and the hard work of the greenkeepers and other staff here who help to ensure the course and facilities are in top-class condition every day of the season.

"The signs are already looking good for 2011 with bookings up by 10 per cent on this period last year, and we look forward to another ten years of success."

One of the courses that stages the Dunhill Links Championship, Kingsbarns was also used as final qualifying venue for the Open Championship for the first time this year.

Capping a great season, caddie manager Davy Gilchrist was named the Caddiemaster of the Year in the recent Golf Tourism Scotland Annual Awards for the second year in succession.

• Despite losing its sponsor, the Irish Open is going back to Killarney next year, and organisers are hopeful the event will again prove one of the biggest crowd pullers on the European Tour. A total of 82,000 spectators watched this year's event at the County Kerry venue, the second-highest attendance on the Tour after the flagship BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.