Injured soldiers from around the world will be in St Andrews during The Open to celebrate ‘The Grand Day Out’ courtesy of R&A Championships.
The event, organised by Major Tim Grantham (retd) and his wife Lesley, will see servicemen and women injured in battle in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts around the world spend Friday of the tournament in the company of golfers, staff, fans and celebrities at The Open before taking centre stage at a gala dinner entitled ‘A Night for Heroes’ on the Saturday night.
The last time the dinner was held at St Andrews, the event raised more than £250,000 for Forces charities and this time they are striving to top that.
“The support from R&A Championships has been incredible,” said Major Grantham, “and we have Eric Trump [son of billionaire Donald] and some of his friends flying in American veterans who have suffered in battle and we’ll have soldiers from other parts of the world too, so it will be a real global event.
“We have chosen the charity the Defence Medical Welfare Services this time as they do a lot of work with soldiers and their families which goes unnoticed by many.
“It is incredible to see the support of the Forces as well who have come to see the event as a major one in the calendar and they are flying in from all over the world. We’ll have Lt General Gordon Messenger, Deputy Chief Defence Staff, and Lt General Andrew Gregory, Chief of Defence People, Major Generals, Rear Admirals, Lt Colonels, Brigadiers and lots of Scottish military.”
HRH The Duke of York, past captain of the R&A, is an ongoing supporter of the event, as are sporting legends Gavin Hastings, Jonathan Davies, Tim Henman and six-times Major winner Gary Player.
Player said: “If it wasn’t for these people we wouldn’t be enjoying the freedom that we enjoy today.”
Among the auction prizes up for grabs at ‘A Night for Heroes’ is a fourball on The Old Course on the Monday after The Open; a ‘Trump’ fourball at Trump International Aberdeen and Trump Turnberry with a helicopter to take the golfers from one to the other, a day for two with the Red Arrows and a day with the Commandos.
Major Grantham added: “The point of the Grand Day Out and ‘A Night for Heroes’ is to bring many from the Forces world into the bosom of Scotland’s greatest sporting event, demonstrating to them that there is genuine support for them across the world.”
A limited number of tickets are still available - see the website or contact Maj Grantham directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01334 473662.