Scotland: The Eden of Golf
The Birthplace of Golf For Avid Golfers, Playing the Windswept Links of St. Andrews and Scotland's Other Courses Is Like Returning Home
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With that in mind, Alfred Dunhill Ltd., the English luxury goods company, sponsors the Alfred Dunhill Cup at St. Andrews each year. The Dunhill is an international team competition that attracts the world's best players, who, in three-man teams, compete for a purse of £1 million. It is the richest team golf competion in the world and the only commercially sponsored tournament held at St. Andrews, the birthplace of the game.
"Golf is a very upscale game and it matches our target audience," says Gaye Wolfson, head of corporate communications for Alfred Dunhill. "As an international team event, it gives us enormous marketing opportunities around the world. We do a huge promotion in Japan centered around the Dunhill Cup because golf is so huge there."
The Dunhill Cup has been played at St. Andrews since 1985; last year Scotland won it for the first time. The Scottish team of Colin Montgomerie, Sam Torrance and Andrew Coltart steamrolled its way to victory over a star-studded field.
While conditions can be, and occasionally have been, decidedly blustery during the autumn playing of the Dunhill Cup, in 1995 they were idyllic. On the opening day, Royal Air Force jets staged a flyover and RAF Pipers in full kilted regalia piped the 16 teams to the first tee. From there on, it was all Scotland. Montgomerie has emerged in the past two years as one of the world's best players. Torrance, always a dependable European Tour player, had a sensational season in 1995. Coltart was little heralded but played a key role in Scotland's triumph.
That was no more evident than when Coltart defeated Philip Walton in Scotland's semifinal match against Ireland. Down by two holes, Coltart rallied to win his match. With Montgomerie easily defeating Darren Clarke in the following match, Scotland was assured a place in the final against Zimbabwe.
Playing in the first match of the final against Tony Johnstone, the 25-year-old Coltart, the baby of the team, won handily. That set up Torrance, who defeated Mark McNulty to give Scotland the Cup. The two were tied after 11 holes, but Torrance gained three shots over the next three holes and waltzed to a victory and a raucous celebration at St. Andrews' famous 18th green.
It was a glorious victory for Scotland and a satisfying event for Alfred Dunhill, which expanded its golf interests in 1995 with the Alfred Dunhill Challenge, sort of a Ryder Cup for the southern hemisphere.
The Dunhill Cup isn't strictly about professional competition. The event gives Dunhill the opportunity to entertain valued customers, even celebrities. Sylvester Stallone, a user of Dunhill tobacco products, played with Ernie Els of South Africa in the pro-am that preceded last fall's Cup.
"We are in a masculine, upscale business," says Wolfson. "The game of golf has been very good for Dunhill and we are very proud to be able to sponsor a tournament at St. Andrews." --JW
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