Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee is hoping to attract more women visitors to its courses in the aftermath of the success of the recent Ricoh Women’s British Open.
Throughout the week, leading competitors lavished praise on Carnoustie’sworld-renowned Championship course and, with the course also shedding its “Carn-nasty” image amidst a barrage of low scoring, CGLMC officials believe more women will want to play it in the future.
The 2011 Ricoh Women’s British Open marked the third time a major international event had been staged over the Championship course during the last five years and the world’s leading women players proved just as enthusiastic about the course as the competitors at both the 2007 Open Championship and the 2010 Senior British Open.
“I love this course. I love links golf and this is a great place to play it,” said 22 year-old World No. 1 Yani Tseng, who won the Championship with a 16-under par aggregate of 272 to claim her fifth Major victory in a glorious 37-month spell stretching back to the McDonald’s LPGA Championship in 2008.
“There are so many ways to play it. You can be aggressive, you can play safe, you can hit driver or you can hit iron. You need so much creativity on this golf course. But, above all else, you need to be patient. I’m just so excited to be here.”
Tseng was by no means the only leading player to heap praise on the Championship course.
“Of all the links I have played the British Open on, I think this is my favourite,” said Europe’s leading player, Suzann Pettersen. “I think it’s a very fair course. It’s a great test of golf.”
“Carnoustie is definitely one of the top five courses I have played,” proclaimed England’s Melissa Reid, who will almost certainly team up alongside Pettersen in the forthcoming Solheim Cup in Ireland. “You need to drive well because, if you can do that, you can eliminate a lot of the trouble. I think it’s a terrific course and it’s also in superb condition.”
“I had heard a lot about Carnoustie before I got here and it has certainly lived up to my expectations,” said former teenage sensation, Michele Wie. “It’s very interesting and it has got a lot of character. In fact, I’d say it’s unique.”
“I love this golf course,” agreed Wie’s compatriot, Paula Creamer, “It’s by far one of the best links courses I have played. It’s hard, but it’s fair. I think it tests every aspects of your game. You have to hit all kinds of shots, and that’s what I like.”
Graeme Duncan, General Manager of the Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee, spent much of the Championship week receiving plaudits from competitors and was particularly pleased that a total of 36 competitors broke par on a week when the wind was never much more than a gentle breeze.
“It’s a big breakthrough for us,” said Duncan. “In the past, we’ve struggled to attract women visitors in big numbers because they’d read so much about our supposed “Carn-nasty” image. But now, thanks to this Championship, women all over the world will have seen that in favourable weather conditions the Championship course is both playable and fun to play.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the players for their incredible golf during the Championship,” added Duncan. “There were a few eyebrows raised when Si Re Pak, Inbee Park and Katie Futcher all carded 64s but I’d put that down to a combination of the rising standard of golf on the women’s’ Tours and the fine condition our Links Superintendent, John Philp, and his green staff presented the course in during the Championship week. The low scores are certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Far from it in fact, it was tremendous to watch.”
“We’ve been delighted to host the world’s leading women players,” he concluded, “and look forward to having them back at some stage in the future.”
Carnoustie Golf Links www.carnoustiegolflinks.co.uk