Experts predict over 300,000 fans will attend Scottish golf events this year
MORE than 300,000 golf fans are expected to attend at least one of the nine professional events scheduled to take place in Scotland this year, according to VisitScotland.
On the back of a spectacular year for the home of golf in 2014, which saw over 340,000 fans attend the Ryder Cup, Junior Ryder Cup and five other professional tournaments, the organisation is predicting another bumper year for the sport, with the return of the Open Championship to St Andrews one of the many high-profile tournaments taking place over the next 12 months.
It is joined on the calendar by the Scottish Hydro Challenge, Scottish Open and Scottish Open pre-qualifier, Ladies’ Scottish Open and Ricoh Women’s British Open, as well as the Paul Lawrie Saltire Energy Matchplay, SSE Scottish Seniors Open, and Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland commented: “There’s no doubt that 2014 was a momentous year for golf in Scotland with the hugely successful staging of The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 340,000 spectators attending golf events across the country.
“The economic impact of these spectators for Scotland is significant and underlines why Scotland places so much importance on staging the world’s biggest and best golf events.
“We’ve always said that 2014 is not the end and that is illustrated perfectly by the tremendous 2015 we have in store for golf in Scotland. There is simply no better way to follow up 2014 than with The Open at St Andrews, the Women’s British Open at Turnberry and the Scottish Open at Gullane alongside many other top-class events which will bring spectators from all over the world to Scotland to watch and play golf.”
The golf tourism economy is currently worth £220m annually to the Scottish economy and supports more than 4,400 jobs. Golf tourism also has benefits to other industries such as the accommodation, retail and food & beverage sectors with golf tourists spending on average 2.5 times more than a regular tourist. Research shows that for every £1 spent on green fees by golf visitors, an extra £5 is spent on extras such as accommodation, food and retail.