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The Tour Report
  • Els blog: Ready for the Scottish Open

  • Ernie Els is competing in this week's Scottish Open before playing The Open Championship. (Warren Little/Getty Images) Ernie Els is competing in this week's Scottish Open before playing The Open Championship. (Warren Little/Getty Images)

I had a really good time in London last week with the perfect mixture of work, rest and play.

We went to Wimbledon a few times to watch the tennis, which has become a bit of a tradition for us and one that we’re happy to continue for many years to come hopefully. It’s such a unique event and the atmosphere out there on Centre Court is really special. We love it.

It was good also to hit balls and meet up with friends and play a couple of friendly competitive games at Queenwood, where I’ve been a member for many years now. The golf course is always in incredible shape – TOUR standard both in terms of conditioning and layout – and it’s a wonderful place to be able to just pitch up and play. It’s one of the things I kind of miss actually, with us not living in England now.

Anyway, I definitely wouldn’t want to miss what’s coming up the next couple of weeks, with back-to-back helpings of fantastic links golf. First we’re at Royal Aberdeen for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and then we’ll head south for the Open Championship at Hoylake.

We’re flying up to Scotland on Tuesday and staying at Trump International Golf Links just along the coast from Royal Aberdeen. Mr Trump has been an incredibly generous supporter of our Els for Autism Golf Challenge series back in the States, which we’re very grateful to him for. We’ve heard great reports about Trump International and it is going to be the perfect base for us this week, not least as I can get in some additional practice time on a world-class links right there on my doorstep, if I feel the need.

This week is the first time a European Tour event has visited historic Royal Aberdeen, one of the world’s oldest golf clubs, but I’ve played here before and seriously everyone is in for a real treat. This is links golf at its finest, with many of the holes running through spectacular dunes. It’s a pure and truly great test and I can’t wait to get there, tee it up and feel that links turf under my feet again.

The whole package of strategic challenges that links golf presents, hopefully with a bit of a breeze thrown into the mix, to me is totally intoxicating. It’s a lot of fun using your imagination and playing the variety of different shots that are necessary in order to score well. Then there’s the sights, the sounds, the smell of the sea air, the support from the galleries, all together they represent everything I love about the game of golf. There is nothing else like it.

Obviously we’ll be giving it maximum effort and trying to win the Scottish Open for the third time. And aside from the fact this is a great golf course and a great tournament in its own right, it’s also the ideal way to get those links juices flowing in readiness for next week’s Open Championship at Hoylake. You can tell this is my favourite two-week stretch on the schedule! Always has been, to be honest.

Follow me on Twitter @TheBig_Easy