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ONE of Moray’s most scenic golf courses is set to host its first ever open next month.
Covesea Links, a nine-hole course near Lossiemouth, will host a scratch open and family fun festival on Sunday, September 24.
The idea for hosting the open originally came from Michael McAllan, who was head pro at Elgin Golf Club for nine years and is particularly fond of the course at Covesea.
He is being supported by husband and wife team Angela and Andy Burnett, who run the course.
The event will raise money for mental health charity SAMH, with £5 from each £25 entry going to the cause.
Michael, who now works at Nairn Golf Club, said: “There’s nothing like this in the area. In fact, there’s nothing like it in Scotland.
“The course has a good vibe to it – you drive round the corner, see the course and think ‘I cannot wait to get out there’. It’s so relaxed and chilled.
“The place is ready to host its first open. We really want the event to be a complete sell out to raise as much money as possible for SAMH.
“We had a big think about the charity. Mental health is so important and I have had my struggles. It affects everyone.”
The competition is open to all golfers – including professionals – who are aged 16 or over. It’s a one-day scratch competition, with 108 entrants welcome. Around 50 have booked to take part already.
Far from just being a golf tournament, though, there will be something for everyone on the day – with a bar, music and entertainment for children, including a bouncy castle.
The Horsebox Bar will be run by Windswept Brewery, Calum’s Kitchen will be providing food, and there will be live music from local musicians such as Forty Elephants and Danny Mortimer.
Mementoes golf balls will be given to all who enter on the day, with top 10 prizes – including fourball games and overnight B&B stays – for both gents and ladies.
Nearest the pin prizes will be on offer and there will even be a year’s free pass to the venue for setting the course record on the day. There is the chance of a putting competition for youngsters at the end of the day, too.
On how he came up with the idea for the event, Michael said: “I had a wonderful game of golf here with my wife for my 47th birthday.
“I had my usual difficult start and was a few over par – but I got back to par and, on the last hole, the ball lipped out of the hole to miss a hole-in-one.
“About that time I messaged the club and said I’d had a flicker of an idea about running a competition.
“I’m quite creative and have been in the industry for 30 years so I know how to run these things and Angela is so supportive.”
Covesea Links opened in 2010, six years after Andy Burnett attained the land. Originally it had a café, but that burned down in 2014.
Angela Burnett said that some – even locally – are unaware that the course has since reopened.
She said: “It’s just great to be hosting this event. We have had entrants from as far away as America.
“A lot of people still think we are still closed and not here since the fire. Even people in Elgin don’t know we are here.
“It would be great if the event could be an annual event, with a different charity every year, that would be the way we would like to do it.”
One thing that the event still needs is gazebos/tents. Anyone able to help with this can email email@example.com
To get involved in the competition, visit covesealinks.com/open-competition-24th-september
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