PGA Cup captain Gary Alliss is backing Great Britain and Ireland’s players to reclaim the Llandudno Trophy at The Carrick on Loch Lomond in September.
The head professional at The Belfry, who two years ago saw his team miss out retaining the PGA Cup by half a point at Reynolds Plantation in Georgia, insists there is enough strength in depth to tackle the might of America.
But Alliss predicted it could be another close affair after playing The Carrick on Loch Lomond for the first time this week and describing it as a perfect venue for the 24th PGA Cup matches.
“The PGA of America is huge with 28,000 players to choose from but our top 10 is as good as theirs and we’ve probably got enough quality for three good teams of 10 so we’ll have a great chance of winning,” he said.
Alliss hailed the Loch Lomond course and singled out the combination of par threes and tricky greens.
“The par threes really stood out – they were a really good mix, not just big boomers,” he said. “The course also has some strong par fives which we can push up if we want to make it exciting. It has a prevailing wind and it’s going to be a challenge and a very fair challenge at that.
“Meanwhile the greens are undulating and tricky and players will really need to get the right club to get into right part of the green so club selection will be important for positioning. It’s also a course where you won’t have to hit driver all the time.”
It’s only the fourth time Scotland has staged the biennial contest in its 36 year history but the omens are good with GB&I never tasting defeat with victories in 1983 at Muirfield, ‘84 at Turnberry and a draw at Gleneagles in 1996.
The par 71 course designed by acclaimed golf architect Doug Carrick, is part of the De Vere Deluxe Resort at Cameron House, and uniquely straddles both the lowlands and highlands of Scotland.
“I think the Americans will love it,” added Alliss. “Running along the banks are pine trees and heather and Carrick has made the most of the natural contours and slopes.
“The clubhouse is also beautiful, the facilities are fantastic and De Vere are bending over backwards to make us all feel welcome.
“As a golf course it is beautiful and in a stunning location with mountains on one side and the loch on the other.”
The GB&I team will comprise the leading 10 points scorers from the Glenmuir PGA Professional Championships of 2008 and 2009. The 24th PGA Cup matches take place from September 18-20.