More than 300,000 golf fans are set to flock to Scotland’s courses in the coming months as the country gears up for a spectacular summer of golf. VisitScotland is investing a total of just over £2 million into eight professional golf events in 2015, with the country hosting a total of nine professional events throughout 2015 across both the men’s and ladies’ game.
Following on from 2014, when Scotland hosted what is regarded as the “best-ever” Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, the national tourism organisation is continuing to support golf tourism, something worth an estimated £220m to the economy and which supports around 4,400 jobs.
The spectacular summer swings into action in Aviemore tomorrow (Thursday 25 June) when the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge gets under way at Spey Valley GC, marking the 10th year of VisitScotland support for one of the premier events on the European Challenge Tour.
Via spectacular courses in East Lothian, Fife, Ayrshire and Aberdeenshire, Scotland’s summer of golf takes in the likes of The Open Championship at St Andrews, the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Gullane and the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Trump Turnberry.
The action doesn’t stop until the beginning of October, when the biggest names in sport and celebrity tee it up in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship to bring an end to another thrilling summer of golf in Scotland.
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “Golf is a critical part of the visitor economy and the ripple effect of event tourism is felt in shops, hotels, and a wide range of businesses across Scotland. It is more than a holiday experience or attendance at an event – it create jobs, sustains communities and provides an international shop window for Scotland.
“For every £1 that a visiting golfer spends on green fees, they will spend a further £5 on extras such as food & drink and entertainment. In 2014 Scotland was showcased on the world stage with the hosting of the ‘best-ever’ Ryder Cup but in 2015 we have not rested on our laurels and continue to be the envy of world golf by hosting the biggest and best events in the game.
“Scotland is known throughout the world as the Home of Golf and we look forward to once again living up to that reputation throughout a fantastic summer of golf in 2015.”
SUMMER OF GOLF ITINERARY
Date: 25-28 June
Event: SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge
Location: Spey Valley Golf Club, Aviemore
VisitScotland is marking a decade of support of one of the premier events on the European Challenge Tour – the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels & Resorts.
The national tourism organisation has supported the event since 2006 – with a current commitment through to 2018 – and funding support this year of £125,000.
The event is shown worldwide by 35 broadcasters, screening a total of 216 hours of coverage. This delivers almost £1m of direct marketing benefit.
Date: 4-6 July
Event: Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Qualifier
Location: North Berwick
An exciting new event, which will be part of the PGA in Scotland’s Tartan Tour schedule, the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Qualifier offers five spots in the Scottish Open.
The 36-hole pre-qualifier, in association with VisitScotland, The European Tour and The PGA, will have a field of 144 entrants.
Date: 9-12 July
Event: Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open
The Scottish Open, which is supported by £1 million from VisitScotland, will attract tens of thousands of spectators to the East Lothian course to watch Justin Rose defend his title against one of the strongest fields of any European Tour event.
The event will be beamed globally by a network of broadcasters including Sky Sports in the UK and throughout the United States by NBC, all of which helps to promote Scotland, the Home of Golf as a fantastic golf tourism destination.
Date: 16-19 July
Event: The Open Championship
Location: Old Course, St Andrews
The jewel in the summer of golf crown will be the 144th staging of The Open Championship at St Andrews, which returns to the Old Course for the first time since 2010.
More than 200,000 are expected to to see the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson battle it out for the sport’s oldest and grandest prize.
The last time it was staged at St Andrews, the Open generated £100 million for Scotland, which included a country-wide economic impact of £47.4m and a marketing benefit of £52.6m calculated from global television coverage which presents Scotland as the Home of Golf. The Open is broadcast on more than 100 channels with a household reach of 505 million.
Date: 24-26 July
Event: Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open
Location: Dundonald Links, Ayrshire
Golf fans will barely have time to draw breath following the presentation of the famous Claret Jug at St Andrews before the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open tees off at Dundonald Links, Ayrshire.
The event's unique pro-am format sees 80 amateurs and celebrities tee it up alongside a limited field of 80 of the top female golfers in the world. The 54-hole tournament is played over three days and is the only annual professional Ladies European Tour event in Scotland. The event is free to attend.
Date: 30 July – 2 August
Event: Ricoh Women’s British Open
Location: Trump Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire
The 39th Championship makes its second appearance at one of the most famous links courses in the UK – The Alisa Course at Trump Turnberry Resort. The seaside club has been host to four Open Championships and is a fitting stage for the world’s leading players.
As one of only two women’s Majors played outside the United States, it is the most international with the 2014 field boasting players from 28 different nations, including the world’s top 20 on the Rolex Rankings.
Date: 30 July-2 August
Event: Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Matchplay
Location: Muncar Links, Aberdeenshire
The European Tour and Paul Lawrie – Scotland’s most recent male Major champion – launch the inaugural Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play at Murcar Links, on the outskirts of Lawrie’s native Aberdeen.
It will pit 64 of the leading players on The Race to Dubai against each other in a straight knock out, match play contest and will attract thousands of spectators to the North-East.
Date: 27-29 August
Event: Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Senior Open
Location: Archerfield Links, East Lothian
The action returns to East Lothian when the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Senior Open comes to Archerfield Links for the first time,
A field of 60 European Senior Tour professionals will play alongside an amateur partner for the first two rounds before the professionals only contest the final round on Saturday 29 August.
Date: 1-4 October
Event: Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
Location: Old Course St Andrews, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns
One of the most prestigious tournaments on the European Tour, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship has a unique format. It incorporates two separate competitions – an individual professional tournament for the world’s leading golfers and a team competition which features some of the most celebrated amateurs playing alongside the professionals.