Billy Horschel thinking about early East Lothian arrival for Scottish Open

Billy Horschel believes The Renaissance Club is the perfect place to prepare for next year’s 150th Open - and he’s even thinking about adding in some other East Lothian courses to get himself ready for the celebratory occasion at St Andrews.

By Martin Dempster
Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 6:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 7:39 am
Billy Horschel in action in this year's abrdn Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.
Billy Horschel in action in this year's abrdn Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

Horschel paid his first visit to The Renaissance Club for this year’s Scottish Open and has already pencilled in a return trip next July for the start of a new era for the event under the Genesis banner.

“Right now I think the regular events on my schedule will be Scottish, Wentworth, Dunhill, this event,” said the American as he prepared to tee up in this week’s DP World Tour Championship, the final event of the European Tour season, in Dubai.

It will be the fourth year in a row that the Scottish Open has been held at The Renaissance Club, with the 2022 edition set to be a ground-breaking event.

It will be part of both the European Tour and PGA Tour schedules, with the field set to be split equally between players from both circuits, which will guarantee its strongest-ever line up.

“I think it's a great step for the European Tour and the PGA Tour,” he said of a development that has come from a Strategic Alliance announced just under a year ago between the two circuits.

“IThere's possibly more of that coming down in the future, but for the Scottish Open to be the first one is a big bonus for them and everyone involved with it.”

Collin Morikawa said his Open win at Royal St George’s this year had been ‘Made in Scotland’ after he’d played at The Renaissance Club the previous week and Horschel knows exactly what he meant by that.

“From experiencing it for the first time, I think it's an awesome event leading up to the Open Championship,” added the BMW PGA champion. “It lends itself to getting acclimated to that style of golf course, which I think makes it easier to prep for the Open Championship.

“You don't have to grind so hard earlier in the week as much, and you can more or less try to learn the golf course, try and get comfortable with the golf shots that you have to hit on links- style golf courses.”

European Tour CEO Keith Pelley has described The Renaissance Club as a “terrific home” for the Scottish Open, with its owners, the Sarvadi brothers, continuing to invest in the venue.

“I thought the course was awesome,” said Horschel of the Tom Doak-designed layout. “It's a great course to warm up for an Open. It's a course that's not going to beat you up too bad.

“Yes, the weather can beat you up. But I don't think you're going to come off that course and be exhausted.

"I do think there's a few improvements to the course that could be made, making the driving just a little bit tougher off the tee. But, other than that, I think it's a great golf course.

"I'm looking forward to going back and experiencing it again. I've talked about going a few days earlier next year and playing a few other courses around there.

“There's so many great links courses around that area and that is also another way you can prep for The Open.”

Message from the editor

Thank you for reading this article. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our sports coverage with a digital sports subscription.