Padraig Harrington: “I give the players’ view”

The Renaissance Club is nothing if not adaptable, and CEO Jerry Sarvadi is continuing to champion change in a bid to keep up with the ever-advancing technological landscape of professional golf with the hiring of player consultant Padraig Harrington.

Earlier last week, both Harrington and Sarvadi were joined on a walk around the course by his brother Paul and the European Tour’s Senior Tournament Director Mike Stewart and Senior Tournament Agronomy Consultant Eddie Adams as they discussed potential changes.

These discussions come just a year after Sarvadi unveiled a brand new challenge for players teeing up at the abrdn Scottish Open venue, which came in the form of a new layout, quicker greens, the rough untrampled and four new tees at the first, second, 15th and 16th that added a combined distance of roughly 300 yards.

The construction of the new championship tee at the first was to change the angle of play and provide a much-enhanced view of the landing area – and it’s that idea of viewing that Sarvadi put as one key motivator for change. The layout, which saw holes 1-7 and 10-16 of the 2019 layout flipped, was to allow the course’s most striking holes along the Firth of Forth to be presented on the back nine.

For Harrington, the opportunity is an exciting change to give his insight, but the Ryder Cup Europe Captain is equally keen to make sure that any change would positively impact the amateur experience, too.

Padraig Harrington, statements

“I’ve been hired as a player consultant here so I’m trying to give the players’ view of what they want the golf course to be like. So we’re just looking at a few subtle changes, maybe a few changes to the run offs, trying to make it challenging but fairer. I’m really interested in this. I see on golf courses where there are a couple of things that can make it a little bit more challenging for the pros but not take away from the amateurs. And you never want to take away from the amateurs. Pros are only here one week a year, so the first and foremost has to be the amateur experience and how they are enjoying it”.