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Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

What is the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Golf is one of the oldest outdoor sports. Golf is played worldwide and due to it’s fame, it has a large number of tournaments and tours each season. One such golf competition is the Dunhill Cup, St Andrews. It is part of the European tour and is one of the richest golf tournaments to exist. The Dunhill Cup St Andrews is also called the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. It is usually played in September on 3 different links courses. 

Links: The word links comes from a Scottish word “hlinc” which meansrising ground or a ridge.Links is treated as singular even though it has an ‘s’ at the end. A links is the oldest style of golf which originated in Scotland. It refers to coastal areas with sand dunes and ridges or an open parkland. The surface of the links-style courses is hard and typically allow the golf balls to move much further in comparison to the soft turf courses. 

The origins of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

The Alfred Dunhill Cup was a golfing tournament that ran from 1985 till 2000. This event was sponsored by Alfred Dunhill Ltd. It was a team competition. It consisted of three man teams, and the  teams represented their countries. It was promoted as the “World Team Championship” and was a specially approved event on the European tour. Players from all around the world were attracted to this competition as it was played on the “Home of golf”, the Old Course at St. Andrews, in Scotland. It gave tough competition to the World Cup which was a similar event consisting of a 2 man team. However in 2001, it was replaced by the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship as the World Cup surpassed this event because of it’s inclusion in the World Golf Championships (WGC). 

Prestige of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

The Dunhill Cup, St Andrews or the Dunhill Links Championship started in 2001 and is based on theformat of the United States PGA Tour's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. It is an annual tournament, which means it is held every year. It is a unique celebration of Links golf. This golf-style has a special allure for people from all over the world, golfers and fans alike. There is a rotation between 3 coursesduring this tournament: The Old Course at St Andrews, Carnoustie Golf Links and Kingsbarns Golf Links.

Old Course at St Andrews: This course is also known as the Old Lady or the Grand Old Lady. It is considered to be the oldest golf course in the world. It is a public course over common land in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland and is held by a trust. The beginnings of golf on this course date back to the 15th Century hence, this course is known as the “Home of Golf.” The sport became very popular in Scotland back in the day which led it to become banned by the rulers of that time as they believed it was distracting young men from archery. The Old Course has played a very significant role in the development of the game of golf into what it is today.

Carnoustie Golf Links: This course is situated in Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland. It has 4 courses – the historic Championship Course, the Burnside Course, the Buddon Links Course and The Nestie. The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is played on the Championship Course. This course is extremely significant too as it has been used to play golf since the 16th Century. In 1890, the Links was sold to the local authorities with the help of the locals as they collected funds and donated them to the council to acquire the land. The Championship Course underwent significant modifications in 1999.

Kingsbarns Golf Links: This is a sea-side Scottish Links golf course. It is very close to St Andrews. It is ranked amongst the top 10 golf courses in the world. Golf has been played on and off on this course since 1793. The course was reconstructed in 1997 and reopened in 2000. 

How the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is played

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is a unique, one of a kind tournament where professional golfers are pitted against and with amateur golfers. It is played on 3 magnificent courses, with a rich history. It is one of the best and most lucrative golfing events in the world. It provides a special kind of attraction for spectators and golfers. 

This championship has a very distinct format. It includes 2 separate competitions – an individual professional tournament for the world’s leading golfers with a prize fund of US$5 million, and a team competition which features some of the world’s most celebrated amateur golfers. To increase the allure and interest of the competition, the amateurs often consist of celebrities and known personalities such as, Tom Phelps, Bill Murray, Michael Douglas, Samuel L Jackson, Hugh Grant and Jamie Dornan.

The individual professional tournament takes place between 168 of the world’s leading golfers. In the team competition, each one of the 168 professional golfers are paired with one of the 168 amatuer golfers. Play is rotated over the 3 courses in the first 3 days. The final round is played at The Old Course, St Andrews. After 3 rounds, only the leading 60 professionals (and those tying for 60th place) and the leading 20 teams are allowed to play the field. Amateurs receive a stroke allowance equal to two thirds of their official handicap to a maximum of 18 for men and 24 for women.  The team score is the lower of the professional's and his amateur partner's net score at each hole.

Prize money

Individual professional competition has a total prize money of $4.8 million.

1st Prize

$782, 928

2nd Prize

$507, 024

3rd Prize


The prize money for the Team championship is $200,000, which is only paid to the professionals.

1st Prize


2nd Prize


3rd Prize


When and Where is the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship played

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is part of the European tour played in Scotland on 3 different courses. It rotates between The Old Course at St Andrews, Carnoustie’s The Championship Golf Links and Kingsbarns Golf Links. It is played annually, every September. It is played over a course of 4 days. It will begin on 30th September 2021 and will be played till 3rd October 2021.  The admissions for the first 3 days of the championship are free for spectators; however, tickets will still be required.Tickets will have to be purchased for the final day for the Old Course St Andrews on Sunday, October 3rd. Due to the pandemic, the spectator capacity will be limited to 4000 only, for all 4 days.

Who will play the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

The Players for the 2021 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship will be announced in the weeks ahead of the event. Rest assured, it will be an event worth waiting for as the world's top player will compete for the title. In this competition, the players are not only playing for the prize money, but the distinct title of the victory in the Home of Golf and the world ranking status.

The world’s best golfers’ performance is reflected in the leaderboard below, as they battle for a place in the Championship.

Pro leaderboard

Team Leaderboard

Victor Perez

Tommy Fleetwood and Ogden Phipps

Matthew Southgate

Rory McIlroy and Gerry McIlroy

Joakim Lagergren

George Coetzee and Aidan Crawley

Paul Waring

Rafa Cabrera Bello and Dermot Desmond

Matthew Jordan

Shubhankar Sharma and Johan Van Zyl

Jeung-Hun Wang

Andrea Pavan and Chris Goodwin

Jordan Smith

Luke Donald and Jamie Redknapp

Tom Lewis

Nicolai Højgaard and Andrii Shevchenko

Tommy Fleetwood

Joakim Lagergren and Frank Vivier

Andrea Pavan

Matthew Southgate and Peter Dawson

Tony Finau

Zander Lombard and Dan Fireman

Luke Donald

Scott Jamieson and Cian Foley

Richie Ramsay

Jordan Smith and Moss Ngoasheng

Callum Shinkwin

Haotong Li and Allen Zhang

Michael Lorenzo-Vera

Jason Scrivener and Andrew White

Russell Knox

Tony Finau and Ryan Smith

Harry Hall

Paul Waring and Tony Bird

Tyrrell Hatton

Robert MacIntyre and Ashton Curtis

Alex Noren

Calum Hill and John Tyson

Eddie Pepperell

Victor Perez and Norbert Dentressangle

Shane Lowry

Matt Wallace

Haotong Li

Lucas Bjerregaard

Thomas Detry

Zander Lombard

Victor Dubuisson

Calum Hill

Robert MacIntyre

Padraig Harrington

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Rory McIlroy

Danny Willett

Justin Rose

Sebastian Soderberg

Dean Burmester

Oliver Wilson

Robert Karlsson

Sam Horsfield

Tapio Pulkkanen

Joost Luiten

Oliver Fisher

Marcus Kinhult

Ricardo Gouveia

John Catlin

David Horsey

Benjamin Hebert

Fabrizio Zanotti

Wil Besseling

Matthieu Pavon

Scott Jamieson

Johannes Veerman

Lee Slattery

Aaron Rai

Ryan Fox

Julien Guerrier

Grant Forrest

Rikard Karlberg

Alvaro Quiros

Raphael Jacquelin

Rafa Cabrera Bello

George Coetzee

Nacho Elvira

Liam Johnston

David Law

Wilco Nienaber

Wade Ormsby

Renato Paratore

Neil Schietekat

Matthias Schwab

Jason Scrivener

Richard Sterne

Euan Walker

Justin Walters