Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Offers Up Something Fresh for Golf Fans

Rory McIlroy, Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, St. Andrews,(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy, Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, St. Andrews,(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images) /

Each autumn, a group of professional golfers and eager amateurs descend upon the Kingdom of Fife in Scotland to contest the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship over three world-class, championship links courses.

One of the most popular events on the DP World Tour, the “Dunhill” offers a more laidback vibe than some of your normal DP World Tour and PGA Tour events.

The championship is held across three legendary courses over four days, including two separate competitions. There is a professional tournament and a pro-am competition that sees the professionals paired with an amateur partner.

Amateurs and Professionals Mix It Up at the Home of Golf

In fact, the pro-am competition is a large part of what makes this week so special. That’s because players can play with a family member, a friend, or sometimes a celebrity partner. You may recognize a few of these names who have participated in the past:

  • Justin Timberlake
  • Samuel L. Jackson
  • Hugh Grant
  • Michael Douglas
  • Kathryn Newton 
  • Bill Murray
Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, DP World Tour, Michael Phelps, R&A, Scotland, St. Andrews, Dunhill
Rory McIlroy, Bill Murray, Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) /

But no celebrity made more of a splash at the Dunhill than 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps who famously drained a 160-foot putt at Kingsbarns during the 2016 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

The celebrity aspect is fun, but the real stars of the show are the golf courses themselves. The Dunhill Links is played over the most famous golf course in the world, the Old Course at St. Andrews, affectionately known as “The Home of Golf.” Carnoustie, or “Car-nasty” as it’s affectionately known due to its difficulty, and Kingsbarns round out the rotation.

Pro-am teams play each course once over Thursday, Friday, and Saturday when a 54-hole cut is made with the top 60 professionals advancing. Meanwhile, the leading 20 pro-am teams make the team cut, including those professionals who didn’t make the cut individually, but did so with the team.

The final round on Sunday is fought over the links of the historic Old Course with a winner being crowned on the 18th green while the famous R&A clubhouse stands proudly by overlooking the festivities.

The Alfred Dunhill Links is like no other pro golf tournament in the world.

It’s the only one to be played annually at St. Andrews. Its place on the schedule in October virtually guarantees that unpredictable Scottish seaside weather will play a factor throughout the week. But it is a true joy for not only the players, amateurs, and caddies, but for the entire region, as fans show out to support home-grown heroes, golf legends, and their favorite television, movie, and entertainment stars.

This tournament also differs from other professional tournaments with an emphasis on making golf more accessible to the fans. Entrance for the practice days and first three rounds of the tournament is free, while a small fee is charged for entry on the final day.

Players already committed to the 2023 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship include 3-time major champion Padraig Harrington, Tommy Fleetwood, Billy Horschel, and 2022 winner, Ryan Fox.

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It is always fun to see not only the great shots from the pros, but maybe even some of the, shall we say, more relatable shots from the amateurs.

Just be sure to pay close attention when you hear the shouts of, “FORE!”