Mercedes-Benz 4x4 Golf Drive To The Open: Day 1

Rob Smith and Chris Walker's Mercedes 4x4 Golf Drive to The Open: Day 1

A Q&A with Mercedes-Benz brand ambassadors Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer ahead of The Open

The first of five amazing days for Rob Smith & competition winner Chris Walker attending the 2015 Open & playing great courses nearby with Mercedes-Benz

There are competition prizes that are good, there are competition prizes that are great, and then there is the Golf Monthly/Mercedes-Benz competition prize that is at a different level altogether.

Mercedes-Benz GLEs and GLE Coupes awaited the GM team in Edinburgh

Mercedes-Benz GLEs and GLE Coupes awaited the GM team in Edinburgh

Reader Chris Walker from Bristol recently scooped exactly this with his entry to accompany me to Fife and take on teams from Germany, Spain and Italy in a golfing challenge combined with watching the dramatic action at the 144th Open Championship. It was the second year in a row Mercedes-Benz had put up a similar prize, with last year's involving a roadtrip from Brooklands in Surrey to Hoylake via various stopping-off points.

Rob and Chris gets to grips with their Mercedes-Benz wheels for the week

Rob and Chris gets to grips with their Mercedes-Benz wheels for the week

The teams met up with their hosts from Mercedes on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, the night before The Open was due to start, and following a good night’s sleep and a drive through the beautiful city to acclimatise to the excellent all-new Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLE coupé, it was over the bridge into Fife.

The first port of call was the excellent Kingsbarns - the superb modern links just along the coast from St Andrews.

Following brunch and a session on the practice range, it was out onto the course with caddies for team Golf Monthly.

Preparing to tee off at Kingsbarns a few miles from the Old Course

Preparing to tee off at Kingsbarns a few miles from the Old Course

There, Rob surprised himself and indeed everyone who knows him by playing to his handicap in the blustery afternoon conditions, the highlight being a two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th.

Chris, who plays off 6, was also in great form and the pair came in with 71 points to lie just behind Spain who compiled a superb 75.

The UK in second place after the first day's golf

Team UK in second place after the first day's golf

Following this, it was back into the 4X4s for the short drive down to the Old Course to attend a very special Mercedes-Benz event.

In the brand's corporate hospitality suite beside the 16th hole, ambassadors Martin Kaymer, Bernhard Langer and Rickie Fowler took part in a very relaxed and friendly Q&A session before spending some time with their fans.

Mercedes-Benz ambassadors Martin Kaymer and Bernhard Langer were on hand to answer questions

Mercedes-Benz ambassadors Martin Kaymer and Bernhard Langer were on hand to answer questions

All in all, an excellent first day and there is plenty more to come!

Jeremy Ellwood
Contributing Editor

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf


Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response