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Golf Issue - Dunhill Links Championship
Tobacco promotion | coastal path restrictions | golf on beach | road closure | sponsor info | media coverage

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2008 Dunhill Links Championship News

see also selected news from past events or the full dunhill links championship news archive

Tobacco - dunhill brand-stretchingCoastal path - must remain openGolf on beach - outwith boundaryRoad closed - how convenient Richemont chief - Johann Rupert

Kingsbarns Golf Links again plays co-host to this lucrative yet unloved pro-celebrity golf event.

This Richemont sponsored IMG roadshow has been running for eight years now, and several golf and non-golf issues have been raised during that time, both locally and nationally - as recorded below:

Dunhill brandsharing

"So what took place at St Andrews last week was not a golf tournament sponsored by a cigarette company but one sponsored by a company selling lighters to smokers, which is owned and heavily cross-subsidised by another company which makes most of its profit from tobacco sales." - Lawrence Donegan, The Guardian, 5 October 2005
"No laws have been broken but what you have here is a classic case of brand stretching. It is not against the law, but it is certainly against the spirit of the law, and the European Tour should do itself a favour and end Dunhill's sponsorship of this event as soon as possible." - Maureen Moore, the chief executive of the anti-smoking group ASH Scotland
"It could be argued that Richemont has a strong interest in promoting a leading BAT tobacco brand, and we are very concerned that this is the effect of the sponsorship." - Ash Scotland response to Scottish Executive draft tobacco promotion bill
"Clearly, [Dunhill] is a luxury goods company using its luxury goods media to promote a smoking-related product. .... Can Dunhill's sponsorship of the Dunhill championship golf tournament still go ahead, on the basis that it is promoted by the luxury goods side of Dunhill rather than the tobacco side? Surely it is seeking to promote a tobacco brand, too." - Tim Loughton, MP whilst debating issues relating to the Draft Tobacco Advertising Promotion (Brandsharing) Regulations 2004

Access to Kingsbarns beach and coastal path during event

"A number of issues which merit further examination have been raised during the attempt to deny public access to this right of way at the time of the dunhill championship..." - Alexander Ballantyne, Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society
"Back Stile will be closed to vehicles from it’s junction with Seagate, at the point that it enters the golf course, to the beach car park..." - Ross Hallett, IMG (unaware, perhaps, that the road to the beach does not enter the golf course. This is less a matter of safety and security, more a matter of convenience!)
"We do not feel that it is necessary to close this road at all." - Kingsbarns CC

Safety on Kingsbarns beach and coastal path during event

"The rot set in with Kingsbarns, developed in the late 1990s between Crail and St Andrews on the Fife coast. At the planning permission stage, we tried very hard to persuade Fife Council to pull the development back a little from the coastline. We failed, completely. So today you would be well advised to carry a hard hat as you walk the coastal path and, if you are a golfer, check your insurance policy. One day a rambler can expect a very big crack on the head and the lawyers will be in action." - Dave Morris, director of the Ramblers' Association Scotland
"The use of the beach, all be it occasionally, does present a different line of play and potentially an increase in danger to walkers and users of the beach from golf balls. To this end I have written to the operators of the golf course regarding their attitude to players using the beach. It is possible that the beach could be regarded as out of bounds and thereby subject to penalty since it is clearly beyond the boundary of the original planning consent site." - Nick Brian, Planning, Fife Council

"At no other event will the spectators tread quite so warily.

"The cries of ‘Fore!’ ricocheted around the course like wayward drives bouncing between the trees that line this course at its outermost periphery. It wasn’t just the forestry; balls were striking portable buildings, vehicles and hotels this week. And it wasn’t just the celebrities; Colin Montgomerie, who starts today nine under after dodging the occasional stray one from his partner, the model Jodie Kidd, winged a spectator with a hooked drive at the 15th." - Neil White, Sunday Times, 10 Oct 2004

"I once spent 10 minutes at Kingsbarns' par-three 15th watching Sir Steve Redgrave - another who plays a good game of golf - strike successive tee shots into the sea." - Robert Philip, The Telegraph, 30 September 2005

The unloved pro-celebrity golf event - as covered in the national press

"... one uses the term ‘celebrities’ loosely, for as well as Hugh Grant, Samuel L Jackson and Sir Ian Botham in plus fours, there is a high quota of corpulent businessmen. These are famous, Sky commentators tell us breathlessly, for achievements like once owning City Airport; fascinating." - Jasper Gerard, The Telegraph, 4 October 2008
"..... six-hour rounds and amateur hacking have often made the Dunhill Links Championship the golfing equivalent of water torture ...." - Lawrence Donegan, The Guardian, 8 October 2007
".... a tournament where celebrity trumps ability and the efforts of pros grinding it out to make the cut are often drowned out by the antics of Hollywood stars trying to make tomorrow's papers ...."- Lawrence Donegan, The Guardian, 5 October 2007
"Still, despite the presence of his distinctive moniker atop the leaderboard, the question remained: is Dredge really the leader? Quite apart from the interminably slow play - an average round takes close to six hours - the almost complete absence of spectators and the inevitably dodgy weather, one of the many downsides of this pro-am event is the three-venue format." - John Huggan, The Guardian, 7 October 2006
"The organisers can’t be blamed for the weather, but the tournament still has the feel of an enlarged 'company day' - with the 51/2-hour rounds to match. Once again it seems as if there are more ancillary staff here, particularly PR people, than actual spectators." - Steve Scott, golf correspondent, The Courier, 6 October 2006

"With rounds lasting closer to six hours than five on a typically brisk and chilly October day on the east coast of our fair land, this "prestigious" pro-am (aka, rich man’s toy) managed what hitherto has been impossible: it reduced our national sport to a spectacle even less interesting than synchronised swimming.

"Long periods of complete inactivity were occasionally and only briefly broken by sporadic outbreaks of something resembling golf. But not as we know it. Billed as a "celebration" of links golf, this is more like a cremation." - John Huggan, Scotland on Sunday, 10 October 2004

"Yet the Dunhill Links Championship, a tournament that has been staged only twice in the past, has already achieved the dubious distinction of being the most maligned event of the European golfing year. It has been savaged for its place on the calendar, its complex format, its parading of has-been celebrities and its haughty celebration of corporate nosebagging. Quite a record for one so young." - Alasdair Reid, The Times, 21 September 2003

Dunhill Links Championship - selected news from past events- see full dunhill links news archive
more Golf Issues   back to Local Issues   go to Dunhill News   useful background Dunhill Info

2007 Dunhill Links Championship News

2006 Dunhill Links Championship News

2005 Dunhill Links Championship

2004 Dunhill Links Championship

2003 Dunhill Links Championship

2002 Dunhill Links Championship

2001 Dunhill Links Championship

NOTE FOR WALKERS - Fife Council have declared that the coastal path, and the alternative path, must remain open during the event. Stewards may or may not be aware of this fact.

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