Team Scottish Hydro players Jamie McLeary, Jack Doherty, Chris Doak, Callum Macaulay and Andrew McArthur at the Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts announcement at the top of the CairnGorm Mountain. (EuropeanTour)
At a truly unique announcement at the summit of CairnGorm Mountain in the Highlands of Scotland, Macdonald Hotels and Resorts were today named as the hosting sponsor of the Scottish Hydro Challenge, which takes place at Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Course from June 21-24.
The new agreement, confirmed at the spectacular mountain location, means that the tournament, one of the flagship events on the European Challenge Tour schedule, will now be known as the ‘Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts’.
The UK’s highest building – the picturesque Ptarmigan Restaurant near Aviemore, 1097 metres above sea level - was the venue where five of Scotland’s most talented Challenge Tour stars, all members of Team Scottish Hydro 2012, were present for the official announcement.
The Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts also benefits from the considerable support from Scottish Government agency EventScotland, currently to the tune of £150,000 per annum, as part of the country’s strong golf tournament investment programme in conjunction with the hosting of The 2014 Ryder Cup.
EventScotland’s continued support, which is confirmed through to at least 2018, means Challenge Tour golf will play a major part in the build-up to golf’s biggest team event, which takes place at Gleneagles, Perthshire, in two years’ time.
This year’s tournament, at the spectacular Dave Thomas-designed course, will be the sixth consecutive year that Macdonald Hotels have provided the host venue for the Scottish Hydro Challenge, with Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Course staging the event from 2009 following two years at Macdonald Cardrona Golf and Country Club in the Scottish Borders.
Macdonald Hotels and Resorts’ hosting sponsorship will provide the tournament with another huge boost following last year’s exciting announcement that Scottish Hydro will sponsor the event until 2014 - the year in which The Ryder Cup makes that eagerly-awaited return to Scotland for the first time since 1973.
Ruaridh Macdonald, Sales and Marketing Director for Macdonald Hotels, said: “Macdonald Hotels and Resorts have, since 2007, been extremely proud hosts to this growing tournament and to have our name in the title only reaffirms our commitment to golf in Scotland and, in particular, the Highlands.
“With the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles just two years away, this is an extremely exciting time for golf in Scotland and to have one of the country’s largest golf tournaments named the Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts is a source of immense pride for us.”
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: "EventScotland is proud to once again be a major supporter of the Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts as part of our ongoing investment in golf tournaments in the build up to the 2014 Ryder Cup.
“Scotland is ‘The Home of Golf’, and as such it is fitting that we continue to host one of the most successful tournaments on the Challenge Tour, which in turn helps Scotland’s rising stars make the step up to the top ranks of the professional game.
“The tournament also delivers an important platform to showcase Clubgolf, our national junior golf programme, to children from across the Highlands and Islands. So on every level this tournament continues to raise the profile of golf in Scotland.”
Jonny Petrie, Sponsorship Manager for Scottish Hydro said: “Scottish Hydro is delighted with the continued support provided for the event by both Macdonald Hotels and EventScotland. We have made significant investment in golf in Scotland over the past few years and this further commitment from two other event partners will do nothing but good for the game of golf in Scotland. We are very much looking forward to being up in Aviemore again in June.”
Alain de Soultrait, Director of the European Challenge Tour, said: “This tournament is truly one which encapsulates all that is great and exciting about Challenge Tour golf and we are delighted and grateful to have such great backing from the various parties involved.
“To have Macdonald Hotels and Resorts further their commitment is another huge boost and, with Scottish Hydro and EventScotland right behind us until at least 2014, the Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts is sure to continue to thrive as one of the most eagerly- awaited events on the Challenge Tour schedule.”
Yesterday (Sunday April 29), four of the players also hosted a golf clinic each at four Highlands venues, Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Course (Andrew McArthur), Fairways Driving Range Inverness (Chris Doak) Inverness Golf Club (Jamie McLeary) and Nairn Dunbar Golf Club (Callum Macaulay).