Hickory golf goes from strength to strength. Barely a month after the successful staging of the fourth PGA World Hickory Open (WHO) at Craigielaw in East Lothian in Scotland, an addition to the World Hickory Open is launched.

Involving both existing Open sponsors East Lothian Council and the board of The World Hickory Open Championship together with The St. Andrews Golf Company, a new international hickory competition to be known as The Musselburgh International Hickory Challenge is to be created. According to WHO Chairman Lionel Freedman, the Challenge will be played over the historic Old Course Links and will be open to professionals and amateurs alike.

The two day event will be held on 21st and 22nd September 2009. The first day will be a handicap medal-play event with the top 20 players respectively representing Scotland and Overseas, qualifying for the second day, which will be run on a ‘Ryder Cup’ format with Scotland playing the Rest of the World. The added benefit of the adjacent Racecourse Grandstand and its truly wonderful facilities, which will be made available to competitors and spectators, will provide a most impressive backdrop for the occasion.
East Lothian Council’s John Caldwell says, “The notion of an international challenge on the Old Course seemed a natural development of The World Hickory Open given the latter’s success and growing popularity over the last four years, and Musselburgh’s early involvement  – the inaugural Hickory Open was played over this historic nine hole links course. The Scottish Clan’s Homecoming in 2009 is guaranteed to provide added impetus to the competition and will help to bring it to the attention of a global audience.

In turn, this will help to remind golfers around the world of the important role that Musselburgh’s Old Links played in the late 19th century when it was host to The Open itself on six occasions between 1874 and 1889, and the Town was the birthplace of no less than five Open Champions who won the Championship eleven times.
“The economic and cultural benefit to the local community, as well as to the area, of this Challenge are potentially significant. With the management team of The PGA World Hickory Open combined with Musselburgh’s historical contribution to the game of golf stretching back over four hundred years, we believe we are giving the Challenge every chance of becoming a successful annual event,” says Ewan Glen, Director of both the hickory specialist St Andrew Golf Company and WHO.

For further information visit worldhickoryopen.com