A special presentation will take place at the Champions’ Challenge at the Open Championship this afternoon (Wednesday, 14 July) when each of the champions taking part will receive the Freedom of St Andrews Links.
The Champions’ Challenge is being held to celebrate the 150th anniversary Open Championship and will see some of golf’s greatest names playing a four-hole challenge on the 1st, 2nd, 17th and 18th holes of the Old Course.
Each of the 25 Open champions playing in the event, as well as Peter Thomson who will be non-playing captain of one of the teams, will be presented with certificates and bag tags entitling them to the freedom of all seven courses at the Links.
The certificates will be presented by Peter Forster, the chairman of St Andrews Links Trust, and Alan McGregor, the chief executive, to the players as they leave the 18th green.
“This is a historic occasion celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first Open Championship and its return to the Home of Golf,” said Peter Forster. “We are celebrating this wonderful heritage and the close bonds between the championship and the Old Course at St Andrews Links by conferring this honour on the champions. As winners of golf’s oldest major championship they have each made a huge contribution to the game and it is only fitting that we recognise their achievements in this way.”
St Andrews Links Trust is a charitable organisation responsible for the management and maintenance of the Links courses at St Andrews, including the famous Old Course, host of the 2010 Open Championship. The Trust was established in 1974. It employs more than 300 permanent staff and seasonal workers during the high season. It manages a number of additional facilities including three clubhouses, a golf practice centre and four shops.
Around 200,000 rounds are played over six public courses, which feature two additional championship courses (the New and the Jubilee), two 18-hole courses (the Eden and the Strathtyrum) and a nine-hole course (the Balgove).
A seventh course, The Castle Course, opened for play in 2008 on a site to the south-east of St Andrews and has already won several international awards including being named by Travel & Leisure Golf magazine in America as the New Course of the Year and International Development of the Year by Golf Inc magazine in America. The course was also included in the prestigious Golf Digest Top 100 Courses in its first year.
St Andrews Links Trust www.standrews.org.uk.