IT is not just in football's transfer window that talk of big money moves takes place.
On the golfing front, the lucrative Scottish Open is the event that some of the country's leading courses want and Dundonald Links near Irvine is looking to pull off a major coup.
The championship, played the week before the Open, will take place at Royal Aberdeen this July but a decision on where it is staged during the next three years has yet to be made. Castle Stuart, the Inverness venue which hosted the Scottish Open for three years between 2011 and 2013, will be granted another chance to hold the contest as part of an arrangement involving the European Tour, the Scottish Government and headline sponsors Aberdeen Asset Management who are committed to the event through to 2017.
The power brokers involved are keen to showcase it around the country, though. The Renaissance club near Muirfield in Gullane is being widely tipped to be the east-coast host during one of those years and Dundonald Links has now thrown its hat into the west-coast ring.
There is an obvious connection with the Scottish Open, of course. For 15 years, Loch Lomond Golf Club, which acquired Dundonald back in 2003, was the highly-praised home of the showpiece event. Given its slot in the schedule the week before the Open, many, including then-sponsors Barclays, voiced the opinion that a links test, instead of the parkland challenge offered by Loch Lomond, would help to lure more of the world's top players to Scottish shores.
Dundonald was seen as the natural successor but plans were put on the back-burner when Loch Lomond was sold and the consortium who bought it took a step back from hosting.
Now, it has been confirmed that the Loch Lomond club has applied to host the Scottish Open at Dundonald Links and will spend some £2m on a new clubhouse if the go-ahead is given. The cabinet of North Ayrshire Council, meanwhile, has agreed to contribute up to £150,000 towards the cost of staging an event which currently boasts a prize fund of £3m and will rise to £3.25m for 2015 and 2016 then £3.5m in 2017.
Peter Adams, director of international championships for the European Tour, said: "After three successful years at Castle Stuart, we are all looking forward to the first staging of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen in July. We will consider future venues in due course, but obviously we welcome the interest from Dundonald Links in bidding for this prestigious project."