Guest Blog by Visit Scotland
SCOTLAND TEES UP A SUMMER OF GOLF
Scotland is gearing up for an incredible summer of golf during which more than 300,000 spectators are expected to attend the multitude of world-class golf events taking place up and down the country.
Following on from 2014 when Scotland hosted what is regarded as the “best-ever” Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, the country which gave golf to the world boasts no fewer than nine top-class professional events throughout 2015 across both the men’s and ladies’ game.
The spectacular summer kicks off this week in Aviemore when the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge gets underway at Spey Valley GC, marking the 10th year of Visit Scotland support for one of the premier events on the European Challenge Tour. And the action doesn’t stop until the end of September 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.
VisitScotland is investing a total of just over £2 million into eight of these events but, with golf tourism worth an estimated £220m to the economy and supporting around 4,400 jobs, these events ensure Scotland remains at the forefront of world golf.
Following the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge, which is being supported by VisitScotland for the tenth successive year, we turn our attention to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Qualifier at North Berwick.
The exciting new event, which will be part of the PGA in Scotland’s Tartan Tour schedule, offers five spots in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Gullane on July 9-12.
The Scottish Open itself 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 . Not only that, but it 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.
The jewel in the summer 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 attend from 16-19 July 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. It really is an incredible showcase, not only for St Andrews, but for Scotland as a whole.
We’ll barely have time to draw breath following the presentation of the famous Claret Jug before the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open tees off at Dundonald Links, Ayrshire, on 24 July, while the Ricoh Women’s Open will be played out in the magnificent surrounds of Trump Turnberry Resort from 30 July to 2 August.
Over the same four days, 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.
The action returns to East Lothian from 27-29 August when the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Senior Open comes to Archerfield Links for the first time, while our amazing summer of golf comes to a close with the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns – an event that has previously attracted celebrities such as Samuel L Jackson, Damien Lewis and Shane Warne.