February 14, 2012
The Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course will join The European Tour Qualifying School Schedule for the first time when it hosts the First Stage from September 11-14.
The 7,111 yards, par 72 championship course, located in the town of Kelso in Roxburghshire, hosted the Scottish Senior Open on the European Senior Tour from 2001-2005.
Three years after it was opened by Colin Montgomerie and Sir Nick Faldo in 1997, the venue hosted the Roxburghe Challenge, an exhibition match featuring Paul Lawrie and Sergio Garcia, whose round of 66 remains the course record.
The championship course was designed by Dave Thomas, whose other creations include The Belfry, which staged The Ryder Cup four times, and San Roque Club, the host venue of the Qualifying School Final Stage on 11 occasions.
The signature hole is the 14th, a 585yd par-5 known as ‘The Viaduct’ and described by Sam Torrance as “a beautiful hole in a glorious setting”.
The Roxburghe’s Tour Ambassador is Ronan Rafferty, a seven-time European Tour champion who in 1989 topped the Money List ahead of José María Olazábal.
Rafferty said: “Bringing the Qualifying School to The Roxburghe is the culmination of a lot of hard work behind the scenes. Our long-term aim is to stage a full-fledged European Tour event here, and hosting the First Stage is a big step in the right direction.
“The course is a formidable test of golf, measuring more than 7,000 yards from the back tees. Many of the holes, and especially the signature 14th, will give real food for thought to the players, who should also appreciate the spectacular surroundings.”
The Duke of Roxburghe, who first conceived the idea of constructing a course on the Roxburghe Estate, said: “We welcome the opportunity to showcase our beautiful course to the professionals striving to make it onto The European Tour. We all have great pride in the course, and I have no doubt it will prove a worthy addition to the Qualifying School. We look forward to welcoming the players and Tour officials to the Scottish borders in September.”
Mike Stewart, Director of the Qualifying School, said: “Having recently visited the course, I can safely say that The Roxburghe is precisely the sort of venue we are looking to add to the Qualifying School Schedule. The immaculate condition of the course, the superb facilities and the stunning location all combine to provide the complete package.”