Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, the UK’s largest independently owned hotel group, this week celebrates its 10th anniversary as a European Challenge Tour host venue, as the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge returns to Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club.
It is the eighth time the Aviemore resort has welcomed the European Challenge Tour, having previously staged the 2007 and 2008 events at sister property, Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf & Spa, near Edinburgh.
Over the last nine tournaments, the event has seen winners that have subsequently progressed to greater heights in the professional game, including 2014 champion, Englishman Andrew Johnston, who now plays on the European Tour and won this year’s Real Club Valderrama Open de España, and 2013 champion, American Brooks Koepka, now competing on the US PGA Tour and winner of the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Mr. Alain de Soultrait, Director of the European Challenge Tour, commented: “Many of the European Tour’s biggest current stars have either won or competed in the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge in the past and hosting the tournament at Spey Valley Golf Club ensures the event continues to attract some of the most promising young players from across the world.
“The fantastic support Macdonald Hotels & Resorts has given the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge over the last 10 years has ensured the tournament is now one of the most eagerly awaited events on the Challenge Tour and we look forward to continuing our relationship for many years to come.”
Keith Pickard, Group Director of Golf and Health & Fitness, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, said: “When we reflect on the past 10 years and see the calibre of players that have competed in the European Challenge Tour events we have hosted, it is heartening to know that our venues have played a positive part in their stories.
“Macdonald Hotels & Resorts has been a committed supporter of the European Challenge Tour and we will continue to support this event, and other important initiatives that help grow the game, find the champions of tomorrow, and bring new golfers into the sport.”
As part of Macdonald Hotels & Resorts’ on-going commitment to introduce more children to the game and increase participation numbers, 147 school children from across the Scottish Highlands will take part in a series of coaching clinics during the 2016 SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge.
Run in conjunction with ClubGolf, which was created by the Scottish government in 2003 with the aim of introducing every child in Scotland to golf by the age of nine, the engaging golf programme features a variety of activities, including putting challenges, nearest the pin competitions and longest straight drive contests, alongside golf clinics delivered by Challenge Tour professionals.
The SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge at Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club begins this Thursday (June 23) and spectators can watch the action free of charge.
For more information about Macdonald Hotels & Resorts venues, visit: www.MacdonaldHotels.co.uk