The Open will return to the Ayrshire coast in 2016 when the 145th Championship is played at Royal Troon.
It will be the ninth time that the Championship has been held over the famous links, most recently in 2004 when veteran American Todd Hamilton held off three-time major champion Ernie Els in a play-off.
Announcing the 2016 Open venue as the world’s best amateur golfers face the challenge of Royal Troon in the final stages of The Amateur Championship, Jim McArthur, Chairman of The R&A Championship Committee, said: “We are delighted to announce that The Open will be returning to Royal Troon in 2016. Royal Troon is an excellent venue which has consistently challenged the best golfers in the world. I am sure that Ayrshire, with its historic connection to The Open, will once again provide a superb setting for the game’s oldest major championship.”
Welcoming the news, South Ayrshire Council Leader Councillor Bill McIntosh, said: “This is great news – not just for Troon, but for the whole of Ayrshire. As well as giving us a chance to showcase the fantastic golf in this area, our stunning scenery, culture and heritage, The Open will also bring a terrific economic boost with a £100 million benefit to its host economy.
“This is vital investment for our area that will help create a lasting and positive legacy for generations to come. We look forward to working with The R&A and Royal Troon to provide a memorable welcome in 2016 for an estimated 180,000 visitors to the county where The Open Championship began.”
Hamilton’s victory eight years ago saw him join past winners including Justin Leonard (1997), Mark Calcavecchia (1989), Tom Watson (1982), Tom Weiskopf (1973), Arnold Palmer (1962), Bobby Locke (1950) and Arthur Havers (1923).
Memorable moments at Troon include the first four-hole play-off in Open history when Calcavecchia defeated Australians Wayne Grady and Greg Norman.
An independent study commissioned by The R&A, found that The Open Championship atSt Andrewsin 2010 delivered a total economic benefit of £100 million to the town and surrounding area.
Future Open venues
The Open Championship www.opengolf.com
Royal Troon www.royaltroon.co.uk