The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open is staying in East Lothian with The Renaissance Club hosting the championship for the first time next July.
The club’s Tom Doak-designed course, established as recently as 2008 on land directly to the east of Muirfield, will also be the host venue for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, but that event will be moved back in the schedules into August.
The club, founded by American Jerry Sarvadi, is one of the most luxurious and exclusive in Scotland but will open its gates as part of the deal, pledging to continue to support the golf tourism industry in Scotland by targeting additional visiting golfers from around the world as well as introducing a reduced rate for Scottish golf club members.
Additionally, the club will work with both VisitScotland and Scottish Golf to support and fund women and junior golf development initiatives and make its practice facilities available to Scottish Golf’s amateur squads during preparation for major events.
The move to The Renaissance also breaks with the plan to take the Scottish Open in a circuit around the country. The event has been played in Castle Stuart and Royal Aberdeen and was due to return to the north east – where main sponsor Aberdeen Standard Investments are based – but it seems no suitable venue has been identified.
Plans for a composite course at Cruden Bay appear to have been shelved, Royal Aberdeen has been less than enthusiastic about the event returning there after a successful staging in 2014, and the Trump International Links has been ruled out, at least while the Scottish Government are co-sponsors.
The Renaissance is a ready-made venue with many logistical advantages, and has been recently used by the R&A for their Open Championship Final Qualifying event.
“We are committed to hosting our sponsored events at the best possible venues around Scotland,” said ASI chief executive Martin Gilbert.
“The Renaissance Club is certainly one of those and we’re delighted that the Men’s and Ladies’ Scottish Opens will be showcased to both the spectators and an ever-increasing global TV audience from The Renaissance Club in 2019. We’re sure it’ll be a huge hit with the world’s best players and thanks must go to all those involved in making it happen.”
Sports Minister Joe FitzPatrick said he was pleased to secure the club’s commitment to opening up their facilities.
“I’m particularly pleased with their commitment to open up the club to members of Scottish Golf-affiliated clubs, and their support for women and juniors,” he said. “These initiatives fit well with the Scottish Government’s commitment to the development of golf in Scotland, particularly among women and young people, as we prepare to host The Solheim Cup in 2019.”
Jerry Sarvadi said: “We are delighted to be hosting both the Men’s and Ladies Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open tournaments in 2019.
“We look forward to showcasing our golf course, designed by world renowned golf course architect Tom Doak, and our other world class facilities to golfing fans from around the globe.
“The course will provide a true links challenge that will be enjoyed by the world’s golfing elite and we look forward to welcoming them and visitors from around the world to experience the stunning views at The Renaissance Club on Scotland’s Golf Coast.”