CALUM HAS TEED-UP STUDENTS’ HIGHLAND MATCH-UP March 10, 2023 Photo – Calum MacKenzie (right) and his successor as Cambridge University golf team captain, Alex Mair ROYAL Dornoch Golf Club member Calum MacKenzie played a key role in luring the oldest team event in amateur golf to the Highlands. The Championship Course will host the 134th annual Varsity Match between Oxford and Cambridge Universities this month, with second string teams clashing on the links at Brora. Natural Sciences graduate and trainee lawyer Calum (21) captained the Cambridge team last year, losing out to their old rivals at Formby. “The team captains alternate in selecting the next venue for the match, with Rye hosting it every fifth year,” explained scratch golfer Calum, who will be caddying for his successor Alex Mair, grandson of the late Scotland rugby international and renowned rugby and golf writer Norman, whose Edinburgh-based widow Lewine is president of the Association of Golf Writers. Former Cambridge golf team captain Calum MacKenzie has teed-up the historic Varsity Match with Oxford at his home course. “I had no hesitation in taking the 2023 match to Royal Dornoch. It is my favourite course,” explained Calum. “The match has never been held this far north – Muirfield is the only other Scottish venue where it has been played. “The Championship Course figures among the world’s finest links challenges so the teams are really looking forward to their visit. “It will be a first for most of the players and they will have plenty of support from family, friends and members of the Oxford and Cambridge Golfing Society, which dates to 1898. “It will be a nice boost for the Dornoch economy I’m sure.” Calum has been golfing at Royal Dornoch since his childhood. “My dad, Ken, and I are long-time members, and we love the town and the golf courses,” he said. “I first played there when I was 12 on a family holiday and have very fond memories of the Championship and Struie Courses. “The university teams will be thrilled to have the chance to experience the Championship Course. “I still get goosebumps making for the third tee where the whole course opens up before you. The views are amazing. “The course will certainly test the players and their shot-making skills. The elevated greens are very challenging. “There are so many holes ranked highly individually but the four Par 3s must surely rate the toughest group on any course in golf. “The second teams will be playing at Brora and that is another fine links course. “It is shaping-up as a big sporting week as the Varsity rugby match and the Boat Race also take place over the weekend. The teams arrive in Dornoch on Monday, March 20 to prepare for the Blues match on the Friday and Saturday. The second teams, the Cambridge Stymies and the Oxford Divots, tee-up at Brora on Wednesday, March 23. The six-a-side ladies match is at Royal Dornoch on the Wednesday and Thursday. The format for the Varsity Match is 36-hole foursomes followed by 36-hole singles matches. Oxford have won 14 of the last 20 Blues matches but still trail their rivals 65-60 in the series (with 8 tied matches).