If they had ever played together, they would have been one of the greatest football teams we have ever seen.
This week, legendary stars Sir Bobby Charlton and Jamie Redknapp of England, Johan Cruyff and Ruud Gullit of Holland, Michael Ballack of Germany, Gianfranco Zola of Italy and Luis Figo of Portugal will be among the amateurs taking part in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
They will be joined at St Andrews by other celebrities from the world of sport and entertainment, including film and TV stars Hugh Grant, Greg Kinnear and Kyle MacLachlan, and rock music legends Don Felder of the Eagles, Huey Lewis and Tico Torres from Bon Jovi.
The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which takes place from October 2-5, celebrates links golf at its finest and is played over three of the world’s best known and respected links courses – the Old Course at St Andrews, the Championship Course at Carnoustie and the highly regarded Kingsbarns Golf Links.
The championship incorporates two separate competitions – an individual professional tournament for the world’s leading golfers and a team event in which the professionals are paired with some of the most celebrated amateur golfers which creates a unique atmosphere.
Cricketers in the field include England’s Sir Ian Botham and Allan Lamb, Australian spin bowling wizard Shane Warne and South Africa’s Mark Boucher, who holds the record for the most Test dismissals by a wicket-keeper.
Among other sports stars competing are Olympic rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave, former British tennis No.1 Tim Henman, Formula One world champion Damon Hill, recently retired Irish rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll and downhill ski ace Franz Klammer.
This year’s professional field includes world No.1 and Ryder Cup hero Rory McIlroy, who has won back-to-back Major Championships at The Open at Hoylake and the US PGA at Valhalla, and European Ryder Cup team mates US Open champion Martin Kaymer, and Scotland’s Stephen Gallagher.
Winning European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley is also due to compete, as is the evergreen Colin Montgomerie, the Dunhill winner in 2005, who has won two senior major championships this year, the Senior PGA Championship and the US Senior Open.
This is the 30th year in which Alfred Dunhill has supported golf in St Andrews, beginning in 1985 with the Alfred Dunhill Cup, then from 2001 with the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Entrance to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship will be FREE at all three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. A ticket price of £20 (concessionary £15) will be charged for the final day’s play over the Old Course on Sunday, October 5. Entry for under 16s and students is free.
Tickets are available through the ticket hotline on 0844 581 4922 or at the entrance gates.