FORMER Hearts boss Jim Jefferies and rugby legend Gavin Hastings both can’t wait to see some of the world’s top players follow in their spikemarks.
The duo are both members at Gullane, where the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is heading next July following an announcement last weekend.
The event will be staged over a composite course that takes in 15 holes on the No.1 Course and three on the neighbouring No.2 layout.
After his win in Aberdeen on Sunday, Justin Rose has already pledged to defend the title in East Lothian, where the field will almost certainly include Phil Mickelson as well.
He, of course, won The Open at Muirfield 12 months ago and is already licking his lips at the prospect of next year’s Scottish Open giving him the chance to pay a visit back there.
“It will be a fantastic occasion for the club,” admitted keen golfer Jefferies, who’s been a Gullane member for more than a decade.
“It is great that they are going to incorporate some of the holes on No.2. The fourth, in particular, is a terrific hole as there’s a set of cross bunkers just short of the green that need to be negotiated.
“The No.1 course is a great test of golf and they’ve made a good change at the eighth by lengthening it considerably.
“It used to be a drive and a wedge but it’s a tougher hole now as you need to keep it left due to the fact it all kicks towards bunkers on the right.
“There’s some cracking holes, including the par-5 12th, though the pros will be looking to make an eagle there.”
In a marketing masterstroke, East Lothian claimed the title of ‘Scotland’s Golf Coast’ a couple of years back – and Jefferies reckons that is spot on.
“It’s golfer paradise,” he added. “Gullane is a lovely place and it’s a stunning drive along the coast to get there. They are doing renovations to the clubhouse at the moment and that will be ready in time for the Scottish Open.”
Former Scotland and British Lions star Hastings has been a member at Gullane since he was 14.
He is also excited about the prospect of seeing the likes of Rose and Mickelson tackle holes he plays on a regular basis and see how they fare in comparison.
“First and foremost, it’s great for East Lothian to have an event like the Scottish Open coming to it so soon after last year’s Open at Muirfield,” said Hastings.
“It’s also fantastic news for Gullane Golf Club and I’ve been talking about it to everyone since the news was announced.
“The layout for the composite course looks great and the 18th will be a spectacular closing hole with its new tee up the hill.
“My lowest score on it is 73 but anytime you shoot in the low 70s on No.1 you are happy and I am sure it will be a great test for the pros.”