Royal Aberdeen head professional David Ross believes the famous Balgownie Links will be at its best when the stars of the European Legends Tour pitch up for the Scottish Senior Open this week.
The Scottish Senior Open returns to the sixth oldest golf club in the world for the first time since 1995 with local hero and 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie serving as tournament host.
With former major champions Ian Woosnam and Michael Campbell also among the field taking part Ross is confident the course will live up to its reputation by presenting a formidable test to the assembled field this week.
He said: “Royal Aberdeen is one of those famous links courses with a world renowned front nine. That’s not to say the back nine isn’t a test either as it is.
“We have undulating rolling fairways and on the front nine in particular your tee shot is paramount. If you aim for the right side of the fairway you get a good angle for the second shot.
“If you don’t then you may find you are taking a third or fourth shot to get some of the greens.
“With the tournament taking place in September you are going to see a course in magnificent condition after the summer.
“The rough is not are ferocious as it was in June and July and really this is the best time of year to play the course. The greens are superb and it all looks fantastic.”
Royal Aberdeen has been host to several high profile events in its recent history having also staged the first three editions of the Scottish Senior Open from 1993 to 1995, the Senior Open in 2005, 2011 Walker Cup and the Scottish Open in 2014.
The challenge of being a host venue differs from event to event but Ross, who began his journey towards becoming a PGA professional under Ronnie MacAskill at Royal Aberdeen in 1989 before succeeding MacAskill as head pro at the club in 2008, is confident he and his team can help make this week a successful one for players and spectators alike.
He said: “I’ve been involved in the Shell Seniors Open in the early 90s as well as the Walker Cup, Scottish Open and Amateur Championship. We’ve had a plethora of events.
“At the Walker Cup we were responsible for the caddie pools. That was a family oriented event and our job was to match up the caddies with the personalities of the players for US captain Jim Holtgrieve.
“It was little things such as putting the quiet ones together and pairing up the more outgoing characters.
“Due to Covid and a lack of visitors, our caddie pool is not as deep as it once was, but we will have students coming back to campus so I’m sure we’ll be fine for the event.
“At this stage we’re not sure how many will be required and I would expect most of the players taking part will have their own caddies, but we may need to assist with the Pro-Am.”