The golf world turns its attention to the links land. Players from the DP World Tour and PGA Tour are descending on The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland, for the Genesis Scottish Open.
This event was established in 1972 as a European Tour event. It was canceled from 1974 through 1985 before its revival. It’s been held across various host courses through the years.
The tournament’s been at its current home base since 2019.
This is also the second year the Scottish Open has been a co-sanctioned event between the two tours.
It’s traditionally held the week before the Open Championship, giving players a taste of the style of golf to come at the ensuing major championship.
Seventy-five spots in the field are reserved for PGA Tour members with DP World Tour members filling the rest. There is also an alternate event on the PGA Tour this week, the Barbasol Championship, which also features a mix of players from both tours.
The Genesis Scottish Open boasts a great field in 2023.
Eight of the top 10, 19 of the top 25, and 32 of the top 50 from the Official World Golf Ranking will be teeing it up as part of the 156-player field.
There is some thick rough in spots with club-snarling fescue a threat for wayward tee shots and approaches. Plenty of mounds and fairway bunkers make for a good Open pre-test.
The greens are big, slow, and undulating. DP World Tour players may have an advantage, at least early in the tournament, as PGA Tour players adjust to much lower stimpmeter numbers.
Surprise, surprise, but it expects to be cool and rainy all week. That could give bombers an advantage who can use their aerial distance and desire to aim right at flags over the more creative and/or shorter players looking to separate themselves with the ground game.
Temperatures expect to be in the 50s-60s Fahrenheit with rain a possibility every day this week. Consistent double-digit mile-per-hour winds are also expected.
Let’s dive into what players are primed to succeed in the U.K.:
Among all the Americans, Jordan Spieth seems to have some of the best creativity and shotmaking to succeed in links golf.
At The Renaissance Club, his lone visit in 2022 netted him a T-10th finish (68-72-66-72). He was seventh in the field in strokes gained tee-to-green (1.78) and SG off-the-tee (.89).
Spieth hasn’t played the Genesis Scottish Open most years, but it appears that it will be a mainstay on his schedule from here on out. It doesn’t hurt that it’s now a PGA Tour co-sanctioned event with a big purse.
"“I think most importantly it’s playing in this wind and off this turf,” Spieth was transcribed by ASAP Sports in 2022. “Getting acclimated to the speed of the greens and slopes of the greens and watching how much the wind affects the golf ball. I have a pretty good game on how far the ball is going to fly and having not come over here ahead of time, a lot of times you’re trying to make that up in three short days.”"
Spieth was the 2017 Open Champion, though it came in England at Royal Birkdale and not in Scotland. That was one of five top-10s out of nine made cuts in nine starts at The Open Championship.
He comes to the Genesis Scottish Open well-rested having not played since a missed cut at the U.S. Open. Prior to that start, the 29-year-old finished T-5th at the Memorial Tournament. That was one of five top-six finishes on the PGA Tour in 2023.
Spieth ranks 21st on the PGA Tour in total strokes gained per round (1.044). He’s top 70 in every SG category, including 25th tee-to-green.