Scottish Open 2020 - The Pros Do Doak

Very exciting to see how The Renaissance Club (pompous much?) works as a tournament venue. Is this the first ever big tournament played on a Doak course?

The course is strictly private but they hint at allowing one visit per lifetime for non-members. Have not replied to my emails yet.

Here are the favourites, courtesy of

Personally I am rooting for Tapio Pulkkanen to make the cut.


The one time experience thing looks legit, especially if staying the week:

I reckon you’d have the place to yourself. Guaranteed to be heinously expensive.

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Tee times available for guests at the Ducks Inn, Aberlady (see Tourist Sauce).

Really fun day out, but neither Renaissance nor Archerfiled are links courses so not sure how useful Renaissance will be as “prep” for The Open.

There are some who think Renaissance is a true links. Debatable, I know. And now it is soft after all this rain.

Will stay at the Ducks next time, thanks!

Renaissance is a great place to play.

The soil varies quite a bit from the firthside holes to those furthest inland (start of the front nine usually, haven’t seen the order for this week), but it plays exceptionally firm for the most part and the grasses are links grasses.

A terrific set of greens. Far more interesting than a lot of old links (but sandwiched between two of the best there are - Muirfield and NBWL).

The carry-on about the privacy is overblown: there is next to no meaningful difference between “you can’t play here” and “you can play here for £250”.


Is there is any reason/logic/explanation behind the centre-cut fairway pattern? I’ve heard a couple of theories but would be keen to learn from anyone in the know.

A few comments.

I personally have no desire to play such a private venue, even though it is only 90 minutes from me. There are obviously a lot of good courses about and wealthy people can do what they want with regards a playground for them and their mates - but I am not attracted to the idea of a ‘one time only’ experience. For me it goes against the ethos of Scottish golf, that is accessible to all.

As for the Scottish Open - scoring looks like it will be very low. Over here we have had really good grass growing weather - decent amounts of rain and sunshine, leading to lush golf courses with softer conditions than would be ideal for tournament play, especially at a links.

Generally with the Scottish Open, they are happy to set it up for Birdies. People don’t want to get chewed up the week before the Open and if there isn’t much wind - which looks to be the case - the course is going to be extremely gettable this week.

Edit to add - I also don’t get the ‘strategy’ from Scottish golf folks to select this as a tournament venue. Given the lack of access, it is going to do very little for our tourism industry in terms of getting people to come and play. There are plenty other links courses around Scotland that would look great on TV and that are accessible for people who see it and want to add it to their itinerary - Royal Aberdeen being one that hosted in 2014 and hasn’t been back for some reason.


Theory being that it gives someone who hits the right side of the fairway a bit of run and someone who takes the defensive line less run.

this is a super cool thing to do with course setup - it’s subtle, adds strategy, and looks amazing on TV

Cheers, that’s what I’d heard. But is there always a defensive and offensive side?

I’d imagine with a Doak course there is. To give a better line into the green, or a shorter approach if you take on a fairway bunker etc.

Also - the fairway set up means there is a best line if you want the most run - aim for the middle of one side of the fairway rather than just aiming for the middle of the fairway.

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I’m a huge Doak fan and don’t disagree. But wouldn’t the preferred side change depending on pin position, raising the question of whether the up-grain/down-grain halves are dictated daily by pin placements.

It’s not about an aggressive side and a defensive side. Like most things with links golf it’s about efficiency: the 50/50 mowing pattern requires the fewest, widest turns and no extra passes.

“Accessible to all” doesn’t describe most of the top-ranked courses in Scotland — private or public. Almost all of them discriminate through affordability rather than exclusivity. Ren Club is much less different in terms of accessibility than many try to suggest.

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depends on bunker / hazard placement, how the green is accessed and if the holes dogleg one way or the other.

I’d think it would be a big ask to change the direction of cut on different days. But certainly possible.

At some holes will be just ploy into trying to tempt people to aim for one side of the fairway than the other, regardless of the best line to the green.

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As Soly said yesterday on the pod - I LOVE the thick applause for a ball played to the fat portion of the green, the preference for the “right” play rather than a “good” play. It’s already obvious on the broadcast - so much respect.

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This was my thought as well. The benefit I guess is being there a week early, adjusting, and playing in some of the weather/conditions. But representative of Portrush, I think not.

Kuchar looking like he’ll give everyone a run at Portrush

I lived in Aberdeen for 7 years back in middle school and high school. It was a blast when the Senior Open came to Royal Aberdeen back in 2005 (and 2011 Walker Cup). It’s a shame they haven’t returned there or its cousin Murcar.

Here is the pricing they provided me:

£300 – 18 holes on Monday or Wednesday Morning
£480 – 18 holes all other days/times

£480 – 1 night accommodation, single occupancy, with 18 holes
£690 – 1 night accommodation, double occupancy, with 18 holes

£60 + gratuity – forecaddie (for group)
£60 + gratuity – individual caddie

(prices above include VAT)


That’s a pricey round of golf.

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