Thursday, 26 October 2017

Ayrshire host the 2017 Scottish Golf Tourism Week

International visitors tee off at Scottish Golf Tourism Week

Over 70 of the world’s leading golf tour operators have arrived to meet face to face with the courses and locations that make Scotland the home of the sport.

Yesterday the Trump Turnberry Hotel hosted visitors who held over 3,500 meetings with golf course and hotel exhibitors from Scotland, who expect that the events taking place at Scottish Golf Tourism Week will attract further international golf tourists in coming years.

Fraser Cromarty, chief executive of the Nairn Golf Club, said it was his first time exhibiting at Scottish Golf Tourism Week. The Highland golf stalwart, who took over the top job at Nairn having moved from Castle Stuart Golf Links four years ago, said Scottish Golf Tourism Week was a “fantastic” opportunity to meet new buyers.

He said: “This is a great event for Scotland and a fantastic initiative - we want to support something like this in Scotland.

“There’s a lot of new faces here. It shows you the new business that is available in the various golf tour businesses around the world.

“I have already met some potential new clients. Looking through my appointment sheet today most of these are new. It is encouraging and quite exciting.”

Pam Smith, Captain of Crail Golfing Society, has returned to Scottish Golf Tourism Week for a second year. A historic course established in 1786, the club enjoyed a record year this year, attracting more than 17,000 visitors to play at its two courses located two miles east of Crail in Fife.

The society benefits in attracting international visitors from its proximity to St Andrews and Kingsbarns. About 40% of its business comes from international visitors and Smith says that bookings are even further ahead already for 2018.

She said: “We had a very positive result from attending Scottish Golf Tourism Week last year. At the event people were checking for availability. This year feels very much the same. We have a very busy schedule of appointments.”

She added: “We are lucky but we are not complacent.

“We have already met with two completely new tour operators, including one from India.

“It is also the familiarisation trips. We had visitors to Crail yesterday and they loved it. He said he’s definitely putting business our way. We would never have met him if we weren’t at Scottish Golf Tourism Week this year.”

Maria Richardson, of Spela Golf (Gailes Travel), arranges golf tours in Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland for Scandinavian and US tour groups. It is the second year she has attended Scottish Golf Tourism Week and on this time out she visited golf courses in Ayrshire including Royal Troon and Prestwick golf clubs as well as a number of “hotels and castles along the way”.

She said: “We send thousands of people here every year. It is the home of golf.

“I am here to see people I already know and find a few more hidden gems we hadn’t found before. I have found a hotel that will be really good for us.”

Wayne Mordon, President of Athlone Golf Tours based in Canada, puts together custom tours ranging in price between £2,800-£3,000 for discerning North American golfers.

He said currency exchange rates were making Scotland even more attractive to his clientele who value Scottish tradition and its links course experiences.

He said: “The things I tell people is it is less expensive to play in the UK than it has been for 20 years. People don’t know that unless you tell them.”

His familiarisation trip with Scottish Golf Tourism Week took him to St Andrews, where he was able to visit hotel and accommodation providers and see where they were in relation to the golf courses.

He said: “It was great to see the accommodation side. We stopped by St Andrews University dorms, to the Ardgowan to the Dunvegan hotels. It allows me to offer combinations, and a range of options to where they can stay.

“It helps me visually. What I have learned about this morning is some properties I wouldn’t have considered are now in my arsenal of selling.”

He said events such as Scottish Golf Tourism Week were essential to ensure Scotland retains its premier position globally as the home of golf. 

“To me what Scottish Golf Tourism Week represents is Scotland is open for business rather than assuming people will just go to Scotland. It is an important step.”

Tom Lovering, Director of Scottish Golf Tourism Week, said that the event had brought operators that were planning to increase their bookings to Scotland next year.

“We expect the buyers here, several which are new to Scottish Golf Tourism Week, will book a great deal more tours and facilities as a result of what they have seen here this week. Scotland is the home of golf, but it is events such as Scottish Golf Tourism Week which ensure we stay as a top global destination for the world’s golfers.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “I’m delighted to hear the positive feedback from buyers and exhibitors at Scottish Golf Tourism Week. This is a fantastic opportunity for golf tourism businesses from across Scotland to meet face to face with tour operators from across the globe, generating more business and more visitors to Scotland.

“Golf tourism is worth more than £286 million to Scotland annually and helps to support our visitor economy, not just through golf courses but our hotels, bars, restaurants and other tourism attractions.”

Scottish Golf Tourism Week, supported by VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise, continues and culminates in the annual Scottish Golf Tourism Awards dinner on Thursday.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Ayrshire boasts 3 of the world's top 100 courses

Golf's 2017/18 top 100 course rankings is out and we have plenty to shout about here in Ayrshire....

With three of the worlds best, it's no great surprise that Ayrshire is one of the most sought after golf destinations on the planet. With over 45 golf courses to choose, from golf on an Island, along its famous links coastline or parkland gems designed by Ryder cup legends, Ayrshire has a golfing experience for everyone.

It's with no great surprise that Prestwick Golf Club no.100, Turnberry Ailsa no.16 and Royal Troon no.47 sit proudly among some fantastic courses including Augusta National, Pebble Beach and Pinehurst but to name a few.

Check out the full review below by clicking the link.....

World's Top 100 Courses 

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

When No Laying Up & Callaway visited Ayrshire

Ayrshire Golf Scotland was delighted to partner up with Callaway Golf, No Laying up and Visit Scotland for an #EpicScotland sweepstakes that included a round trip flight to Scotland, a full set of brand new Callaway Clubs, and four incredible rounds of golf to two lucky winners.

Chad Coleman from Callaway Golf along with Chris Solomon from No Laying up, experienced all that Ayrshire had to offer including playing in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Pro-Am, as well as  rounds at Royal Troon, Prestwick, Turnberry, plus some extras that they snuck in along the way. 

Click here to listen to their fantastic podcast show.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Cabrers Bello wins the AAM Scottish Open in Ayrshire!

Rafa Cabrera Bello won his first European Tour event in over five years as he claimed the fourth Rolex Series event of the season at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
The Spaniard had finished second six times since his win at the 2012 Dubai Desert Classic but overcame Callum Shinkwin in a play-off at Dundonald Links to win his third title.

Cabrera Bello posted a stunning course-record 64 to get to 13 under and a bogey from Shinkwin on the last meant the contest went to extra holes, where the 33 year old hit a stunning second into the 18th to set up a tournament-clinching birdie.

The Englishman had the consolation of securing his place at the Open Championship next week alongside Frenchman Matthieu Pavon, who finished third at ten under, and Australian Andrew Dodt who was two shots further back.
Click here...
Day 4 highlights - AAM Scottish Open;
All the best of the action from the final day's play at Dundonald Links as the 2017 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open came to a thrilling close.
Three-time Major Championship winner Padraig Harrington, New Zealander Ryan Fox, American Matt Kuchar and England's Anthony Wall were also at eight under.

"I'm extremely happy," said Cabrera Bello. "I've won before and I have been up there so many, many times with things not really working out for myself. I was starting to feel a little bit of pressure every time I was up there contending.

"I really felt I played some of the best golf of my life today. In the play-off, I really gave it a go and I'm extremely pleased it worked out for me. Winning again, it's an unbelievable feeling. I think I was overdue.

"I enjoy those pressure situations. I think they really define you."
I have really been fighting for this third win - Rafa Cabrera Bello;
Rafa Cabrera Bello shares his delight after a dramatic playoff victory in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald Links.
Dodt and Shinkwin began the day tied at nine under but Dodt soon jumped into a two-shot lead as he birdied the first after an excellent second from the heavy rough and put his tee-shot on the par three fourth to ten feet.

Cabrera Bello turned in 32 with birdies on the second, third, eighth and ninth as Shinkwin started with six pars but the 24 year old came to life from the seventh, putting two consecutive approaches to tap-in range to leapfrog Dodt - who had bogeyed the fifth - and take the lead.

Cabrera Bello holed a lengthy putt on the 12th to get within one of Shinkwin but that was soon two back as the leader hit another to close range to turn in 33 and get to 12 under.

Dodt had gone off the boil after that quick start but he put his second within eight feet on the eighth and cut the gap to one as the leading trio began to move away from the field.
There were nerves - Callum Shinkwin;
Callum Shinkwin reflects after losing out to Rafa Cabrera Bello in a play-off for the 2017 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
Cabrera-Bello took advantage of the 14th to get within one as Dodt went bogey-birdie on the tenth and 11th but Shinkwin put his approach to two feet on the 13th to establish a cushion.

Dodt then three-putted the 12th and 13th to slip back and when Cabrera Bello put his approach to eight feet on the 17th, he was within one of the leader.

Shinkwin was showing absolutely no signs of nerves, however, and he put his tee-shot on the 15th inside ten feet for another birdie and once again he led by two.

Cabrera Bello got a lucky break to stay out of the water and make a birdie on the last to put the pressure on Shinkwin, with the leader hitting a poor chip and leaving his par putt short on the last to set up the play-off.
Five of the best  AAM Scottish Open Day four;
The five best shots from the final day of the 2017 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald Links.
Shinkwin had missed nine cuts in a row before making the weekend at the HNA Open de France two weeks ago but will no longer be worrying about his place on Tour after taking home a cheque for 777,770 dollars.

"It's been a very good week," he said. "End of the day, I'll be more than happy to finish second but the win was on my mind and didn't happen."

Pavon turned in 32 with birdies on the third, fifth, eighth and ninth and while he dropped a shot on the 13th, he bounced back with gains on the 14th, 17th and last.

Harrington bounced back from a 79 on Saturday with a 66, Kuchar and Wall signed for rounds of 69, Fox carded a 70 and Dodt got round in 73.

Englishmen Ian Poulter, Robert Rock, Lee Slattery and Andy Sullivan, Dane Søren Kjeldsen and American Rickie Fowler were then at seven under.

Blog credit to the European Tour.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Scottish bands headline a week of entertainment for all the family

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers and Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire will headline a packed week of entertainment outside the ropes as the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open gets under way at Dundonald Links next month.

While a stellar line-up of the world’s best golfers, including World Number Four Rory McIlroy, The Open Champion Henrik Stenson, former Masters Tournament winner Adam Scott and 2015 tournament winner Rickie Fowler, will entertain fans on the course from 13-16 July, there will also be a host of activities for all the family to enjoy around the venue.

After the golf has finished on Friday night, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers will bring their ground-breaking fusion of traditional Scottish music and rock/pop anthems – which they proudly call “bagrock”- to the show stage in the Championship Village.

It will be a different feel on Saturday evening as Glasgow-based Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire, whose eponymous debut album was nominated for the Scottish Album of the Year award in 2014, bring their atmospheric sound to the show stage.

With free entry for under-16s*, families looking for a great day out can enjoy a range of fun activities throughout the week, including a bungee run, inflatable obstacle course, play bus, carousel, face painting and nature trail on the grounds of the event. Fans of all ages will also be able to get up close to their favourite golfers away from the fairways with a series of player Q&As on the show stage.
There will also be a special kids zone as part of the first ever Golf Show by American Golf in association with the European Tour and Sky Sports. The inaugural show is a dream for fans of all ages, allowing them to get their hands on the newest equipment and technology on offer as well as participate in interactive competitions.

Visitors can also enjoy some Scottish hospitality, with a range of food and drink on offer from local suppliers, plus live cooking exhibitions using local produce in the public catering area.

The entertainment all starts on the evening of Tuesday July 11 with the Hero Challenge – an exciting one-hole knockout contest featuring some of the tournament’s star golfers, including Henrik Stenson.
TV hosts Vernon Kay and Kirsty Gallacher will present the action live on Sky Sports from a specially constructed hole on the 18th at Dundonald Links from 7.30pm – 8.30 pm, while celebrities including former Scotland rugby player and Strictly Come Dancing star Thom Evans and ex-Westlife member Brian McFadden will entertain the crowd with their own knock-out contest. Fans can secure free entry to the Hero Challenge by booking at

Spectators can also enjoy the Pro-Am on Wednesday July 12, as the week’s golfing stars team up with partners including celebrities from across the world of sport and entertainment. More details will be confirmed soon.

The European Tour’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Championship Director, Peter Adams, said: “This year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open promises to be packed full of entertainment on and off the course.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming some of the world’s best golfers to Dundonald Links, and hosting a whole range of activities across the venue all week. There is a fantastic line up of entertainment for all the family, with music, food and lots of activities for all ages to enjoy. It will be a great way to celebrate the start of the summer holidays.”
Fans will also be able to support the tournament charities Gillian’s Saltire Appeal and Maggie’s through various fun activities including a long putt challenge, photo booth and prize draws. Spectators can also get involved in some charitable fun on Tartan Friday by joining the players in donning tartan attire on Friday July 14 for the chance to win spot prizes.

A free bus service, in conjunction with Stagecoach, will run on every day of the tournament from Irvine Central to Dundonald Links. Timings will tie in with the regular train service between Glasgow Central and Irvine Central, with buses running every 15 minutes on Thursday to Saturday and every 30 minutes on Sunday. There is also free public car parking on a first come first served basis at Dundonald Links.

This Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open will be the fourth event in the European Tour’s new Rolex Series, a premium category of tournaments on the Race to Dubai with minimum prize funds of US$7million.

Fans can buy tickets now – including official hospitality packages – at

*Under-16s gain free entry when accompanied by an adult.
Adult tickets start at just £30, and include free entry to the Ladies Scottish Open, which would otherwise cost £10 on the gate.
Find out more about the tournament at

(Press release by Michael Heath)

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Rickie Fowler coming to Ayrshire.

Rickie Fowler will bid to reclaim the title he won in 2015 when he tees it up at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald Links on July 13-16.
The 28 year old American surged to a thrilling victory two years ago to secure his maiden European Tour title, two months after winning The Players’ Championship for the first time.

Fowler fell two shots off the lead when he bogeyed the 14th in the final round at Gullane Golf Club, but birdied three of the last four holes to overtake Ryder Cup team-mate Matt Kuchar and Frenchman Raphaël Jacquelin to finish 12 under par and seal a memorable win.

Currently 9th on the Official World Golf Ranking, Fowler added the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship to his list of titles in 2016, and will be aiming to make it three European Tour wins in three years when he returns to Scotland, the Home of Golf, in July.

This will be his third appearance at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in four years, after finishing tied eighth in his debut appearance at Royal Aberdeen in 2014.

This year the event takes its place as part of the European Tour’s new Rolex Series, a premium category of tournaments each with a minimum prize fund of US$7million. With the significant prize fund increase and greater Race to Dubai points on offer, Fowler joins a world-class field, including  World Number Two Rory McIlroy, The Open Champion Henrik Stenson and former Masters Tournament winner Adam Scott, on the North Ayrshire coast in the week before The 146th Open Championship.

Fowler said: “I’m really looking forward teeing it up at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open again. I had to dig deep on the final day for the win in 2015, and it rounded off a special week for me in front of the Scottish fans.
I had to dig deep on the final day for the win in 2015, and it rounded off a special week for me in front of the Scottish fans.
Rickie Fowler
“It’s a tournament that I enjoy being part of, and I’m looking forward to playing Dundonald for the first time. The aim is to win another title as well as getting in a good week of links golf in preparation for The Open Championship.”

As well as a world-class field competing inside the ropes at Dundonald Links, there will be a host of entertainment for spectators to enjoy outside the ropes, including a free American Golf show, a host of family entertainment and a wide selection of food from local suppliers.

Fans can buy tickets to see some of the world’s best golfers competing on the Ayrshire coast - including official Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open hospitality packages - at

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The Golfing town of Irvine & Gailes

Ayrshire's famous golfing town of Prestwick and Troon are renowned all over the world, but Ayrshire boast another town golfers don't want to miss! Irvine and Gailes sit a few miles North of Troon and boast five and a half fantastic courses.

Irvine Bogside Golf Club is built between the town, an old racecourse and the banks of the River Irvine, Bogside’s situation may lack the setting of some of the courses to follow but on arriving on the narrow road to the clubhouse you cannot fail to be captivated by the golfing terrain that lies ahead of you. Always immaculately manicured, the fairways and greens roll over heavy contours and high dunes dissected by copious amounts of traditional gorse and even more heather. Likened by some to Prestwick for its quirky individuality and blind approach shots, if Irvine is where you start your tour you will not be disappointed.

Irvine Bogside's neighbour is the public course of Ravenspark which is excellent value and a slightly lesser test of golf than others in the town.

A couple of miles to the south of Irvine are the two Gailes courses of Western and Gailes Links, both of which have been well known to the golfing visitor for many years. These two traditional links have been joined, and complemented, by the relatively new Dundonald Links which geographically slots perfectly into the parcel of land left vacant between Western and Gailes Links.

Gailes Links course designer, former Open Championship winner, Willie Park always believed this links to be one of his best creations. The classic layout is tough, fair and traditionally Scottish, wild heather and gorse define the fairways and the greens are guarded by strategically placed bunkers. Sandy Lyle, former Open and Masters Champion describes the course as “one of the world’s truly great tests of links golf’ and it has been selected by the R&A as a final qualifying venue for The Open Championship every time it has been at Royal Troon and Turnberry. At 6903 yards long from the back tees, Gailes is a great test of golf whilst the kinder forward tees provide a fine test for players of all abilities.

Just across the railway track and closer to the sea, the reputation of Western Gailes has become stronger and stronger over recent years, attracting visitors from all parts of the world and featuring as a must-play on many Scottish itineraries. This is nothing new; in June 1903 the great Harry Vardon arrived at Western celebrating his fourth Open victory to win the first professional championship held and promoted by the Club, whilst in 1923 its attractions were being lauded by the then US Open Champion Gene Sarazen who played the course.

Western Gailes’ setting is imposing being situated between the railway and the sea, both being very much in play as major features. The course is never less than an excellent test of true links golf with the almost central clubhouse situated between the seven holes to the north and eleven to the south.

Sitting across the railway line is Dundonald Links which since its opening has fast become one of the most impressive new links courses in Scotland. Designed by Kyle Phillips, the structure and shape of the course easily matches his better known design at Kingsbarns and the layout offers a great challenge from whichever set of tees it’s played off.

It has perhaps as fine collection of Par Threes holes that you are likely to encounter and a feeling of historic links golf that belies its youth and its quality has already been recognised with its inclusion as Final Qualifying for the 2008 British Seniors Open as well as host to the Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open in 2017.

When staying in the town, there is no better option than The Gailes Hotel which is no more than a par 5 from three of the courses. With its own driving range and short 9 hole course, it really is the place to stay on a visit to Irvine.

Usefull Links:

Thursday, 4 May 2017

World No.1 coming to Ayrshire

World-Class Field Shapes Up in Ayrshire, Scotland.

Dundonald, Thursday 4th May, 2017 – World No. 1, Lydia Ko, returns to Scotland for the 2017 Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open to do battle with the world’s best at Dundonald Links from the 27th - 30th July.
Joining her in a bid to ‘Rule the Links’ are global stars world no. 3 Ariya Jutanugarn, Major champions Michelle Wie, Suzann Pettersen and Catriona Matthew, 2016 Ladies European Tour No. 1, Beth Allen, English sensation, Charley Hull, and of course 2016 champion, Isabelle Boineau, looking to defend her crown.

In a ground-breaking co-sanctioned agreement between the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA, the Championship will now have the highest prize fund on the LET outside the Majors with the 156-strong player field contesting for US$1.5m. For the first time in history, the 2017 Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open takes place at the same venue as the Men’s Scottish Open with Dundonald Links playing host to both events over a three-week period.
Speaking about her return to the Championship Lydia Ko, said, “To me Scotland is the Home of Golf and I’m excited to return to Dundonald Links to compete against some of the world’s best players. It is great to have the chance to play two very important links golf tournaments back-to-back, as I know it has worked well on the men’s schedule and I’m looking forward to seeing how we navigate the course compared to the men.”

Talking about the field, Martin Gilbert, CEO Aberdeen Asset Management, said, “This year’s Championship marks an historic moment for us as both the Men’s and Ladies’ Scottish Open head to the magnificent Dundonald Links. We have worked hard to elevate the Ladies Scottish Open and ensure that golfers from all over the globe enjoy their time in Scotland and hopefully return year after year to play. We're delighted with the calibre of players who have so far confirmed, the field is taking shape nicely with a mix of the world’s best talent from both the LET and the LPGA.”

Paul Bush, Director of Events, VisitScotland said, “We are delighted to have been able to work alongside the Ladies European Tour and Aberdeen Asset Management in delivering this newly co-sanctioned event with the LPGA. It will be a thrill to welcome the world’s finest female golfers to Scotland, the Home of Golf for a two-week period of world-class ladies golf. It will be an historic moment for the LET when the women tee it up on the same stage as the men at Dundonald Links and underlines Scotland’s commitments to women’s golf as we look forward to The 2019 Solheim Cup.”

Taking place the week before the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns in 2017, the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open will kick off a superb two weeks of links golf in Scotland. The back-to-back stretch of events echoes the successful strategy employed by the Men’s Scottish Open taking place the week before The Open – an approach proven to be a competitive advantage for those players competing in both Championships. The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open is also a key element of Scotland’s commitments to the staging of The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.

For further information, please visit: or follow us at @AberdeenLSO on Twitter

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Golf Tourism driving Scotland's Economy

The economic value of golf tourism and events to Scotland has increased to £286 million per year following a bumper decade in Scotland, the Home of Golf.

The new figure has been revealed as part of an independent study commissioned by VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise, confirming the key contribution of the golf tourism and events industry to the Scottish economy.

The study reveals that the value of golf tourism and events has increased by 30 per cent (£66 million) since 2008, supporting 4,700 jobs and spreading benefits across the country’s golfing regions.

It also shows that overseas golfing visitors spend on average £338 per night during a trip to Scotland, which is more than 4 times the daily spend of an average overseas visitor (£78.90)*.

Other key findings include:

·         Almost half (47 per cent) of overnight visitors traveled from overseas to play golf in Scotland
·         The North American market remains key, representing 30 per cent of all overnight golfing visitors with 14 per cent coming from Europe
·         On average, overnight golfing visitors spend on average 6.79 nights in Scotland on their trip while for overseas visitors the duration jumps to 10.21 on average.
·         Overnight visitors spend on average 7.5 days playing golf while they also average 3.85 days participating in other tourism activities, meaning they are also benefitting non-golf tourism businesses and attractions
·         On average an overnight golfing visitor will spend £245 per night but this number jumps to £338 for visitors from overseas. For North Americans this figure increases to £405 per night
·          The majority of overseas visitors (57%) had been to Scotland before suggesting that, for many, a trip to Scotland is not seen as a once in a lifetime experience
·         Of all overnight visitors, 81% overall agreed their trip was one of the best golfing holidays or short breaks they had ever taken (higher for North Americans)

The results of the study come after a stellar period for golf in Scotland, which has benefited from the global media profile and economic impact of a number of key golf events including multiple Open Championships, Ricoh Women’s British Opens and The 2014 Ryder Cup among others. However, crucially, the economic impact of major one-off events such as The Ryder Cup is not included in the £286 million figure and therefore represents additional value to Scotland.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “These findings outline the importance golf tourism and events play in supporting Scotland’s visitor economy and the Scottish economy as a whole.

“Golf is one of Scotland’s unique selling points which resonates with potential visitors all over the world and signifies why we place huge importance promoting Scotland as the Home of Golf to a global market place. Our support of international golf events and our global golf marketing activity gives us significant media profile and I am delighted that this is in turn reflected in golf’s contribution to the Scottish economy.”

Danny Cusick, Tourism Sector Portfolio Director at Scottish Enterprise, commented: “Scotland has some of the finest golfing assets in the world as well as a rich golfing history and heritage, and with such tremendous international appeal, it comes as no surprise that the value of this important tourism sector has grown enormously in recent years.

“But we mustn’t rest on our laurels; we want ambitious Scottish golf tourism companies to capitalise on this upward trend and consider how best they can develop and scale their business to meet the growing domestic and international demand.

“We have a range of support available for companies looking to expand, develop their products, find new customers and assist their growth plans, and would encourage companies to contact Scottish Enterprise to find out more.”

The results of the study will now be used to further inform Scotland’s Golf Tourism Strategy: Driving Forward Together which specifically targets growing the industry to the value of £300 million to the Scottish economy by 2020.

Some key findings in relation to the strategy include the importance of the domestic market, particularly to Tier 3 courses and the evidence that domestic golfing visitors in Scotland showed a younger age profile than those travelling to Scotland to play golf.
In relation to The 2019 Solheim Cup, the report also showed some key opportunities for growth for female golfing visitors. On average 12 per cent of golfing visitors to Scotland were female but for Europeans this jumped to almost 1 in 5 (18 per cent). Female golfing visitors also tended to be more ‘committed’ golfers than male counterparts with more having handicaps and golf club membership and less inclination to describe themselves as social golfers.

To access the full results of the survey visit

Thursday, 13 April 2017

16 miles of non stop golf

16 miles of unbroken Scottish golf coastline.

Ayrshire on the West coast of Scotland boasts close to 50 courses, the area is probably best known for its links courses which are some of the best in the world and includes the likes of Royal Troon, Turnberry, Prestwick Golf Club and Dundonald Links.

Golf is a part of life on the west coast of Scotland and this is no more evident than in a unique stretch of golfing coastline that runs 16 miles with the largest break between courses being only 500 metres. You could virtually play the entire 16 miles starting at Gailes Links and finishing at Old Tom Morris club, Prestwick St Nicholas.

There are no less than 11 courses along this stretch and include Open championship venues, Scottish Open venues and some real hidden gems. The courses include Gailes Links, which is the 9th oldest club in the world and currently Scotland’s Open qualifying course. A short walk takes you to Dundonald Links, the new kid on the block, established in 2003 and is now the host to The 2017 AAM Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open on the European Tours.

Across the railway sits the majestic Western Gailes, one of Scotland’s finest links courses and a must play when visiting Ayrshire. The course sits on land between the railway and the sea that measures only a few hundred yards across with rugged sand dunes and burns capturing this fantastic layout.

Next in line is Barassie Links which boast 27 holes, one of the area’s most popular courses due to its friendly welcome and perfect links greens (it even has its own train station)
A short walk over a road and you come to Troon Links, Troon Links is the envy of most councils as they provide 3 of the best public links courses in the country including the tough Darley course (Jack Nicklaus shot 82 here in Open qualifying, so a stern test) Troon Fullarton, a short course perfect for holiday golfers and beginners and finally Troon Lochgreen which runs adjacent to Royal Troon Golf club.

Now in the heart of Troon be sure to stop off in the town and have a bite to eat and drink at Scotts at the Troon Marina or if you fancy some good old fashioned fish and chips, check out the wee hurrie for the best you will find.
Now you might also be thirsty at this point so pop into the Jar Troon for a spot of whisky tasting, David the owner will talk you through how best to enjoy your dram!

A hop skip and a jump later takes you over to Royal Troon. Royal Troon Golf Club boasts two courses, the Portland course and of course the Championship course which played host to one of the greatest Opens last year when Henrik Stenson won his first Claret Jug.
A caravan park separates Royal troon from our next world renowned course! Prestwick Golf club is where the very first Open Championship was played back in 1860, a more historic golf club you won’t find. Be sure to do lunch at the members table when playing and explore the clubhouse which is like a museum of Golf.

If history is your thing, be sure to have a pint in the The Red Lion Inn, now a modern bistro pub, this is where Old Tom Morris and his golfing friends hung out and was where they had lunch during the first Open. You could say it is the Opens official 19th hole 😊   
Finally the longest walk between the courses of approx. 500m takes to you to Prestwick St Nicholas, the 26th Oldest club in the world and founded by Old Tom Morris in 1851, As traditional a links as you will find.

16 miles, 11 courses and some fine 19th holes along the way.

More Info on the courses: 

More info on 19th holes:

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Golf Events, Golf Weekenders and lots more in 2017

Ayrshire has been a busy Golfing region over the past few years. The Ladies Scottish Open kicked things off in 2015 at Dundonald Links followed straight after with The Women's Ricoh British Open at Turnberry, it really was a year of 'here come the girls'
Ayrshire also hosted its first ever Links Golf Cup by Hybrid golf events which has now went from strength to strength boasting a field of 108 golfers from all over the UK and even abroad.

The big one came town in 2016, The Open was held at Roayl Troon and over 170,000 spectators enjoyed one of the greatest Opens and possibly even major championships the game has seen. Henrik Stenson produced a flawless display of golf in the final round to win his first major championship.

2017 looks certain to continue the trend of Ayrshire hosting the best events for both Professionals and amateurs.
Amatuer weeks and weekenders include the Ayr Golf Week, Troon Golf Weekender, Turnberry special Golf events, Girvan Classic, Links Golf Cup and the inaugural World Masters Golf Championship.
Professional events include the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald Links and the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open also at Dundonald Links.

There are many other reason to visit Ayrshire, its food and drink offering, its close proximity to Glasgow, its outdoor activities and so on...

Check out for further details of the events in Ayrshire this year.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Ayrshire's Boost on back of The 2016 Open

Economic benefit of The Open

£110 million benefit to Scotland from last year’s event at Royal Troon.

Hosting The 145th Open at Royal Troon delivered more than £110 million worth of benefit to Scotland, according to an independent study announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

The Open, which attracted 173,000 spectators to the Ayrshire coastline in 2016, delivered an economic impact of more than £64 million according to the study compiled by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre.

In addition, the country benefited from an additional £46 million in destination marketing benefit thanks to the exposure afforded to Scotland from the Championship, which was broadcast on television in 193 territories to more than 600 million households worldwide.

The research, which was commissioned by The R&A, VisitScotland and South Ayrshire Council, concluded that Ayrshire alone benefited from spending by event specific visitors and on event infrastructure amounting to £23 million in economic impact.

Almost half of the spectators who attended The Open (49 per cent) travelled from outwith Scotland, while two-thirds of Scots spectators came from outside Ayrshire. 62 per cent of non-Ayrshire residents indicated they would return to South Ayrshire for a break within 12 months.

The Open is the world’s oldest and most prestigious professional golf championship and is held in Scotland more than any other country, on average three out of every five years. The 2016 Championship was seen as something of a homecoming for The Open, having first been played at Prestwick Golf Club in 1860, just a few miles from Royal Troon.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who attended the Championship in July 2016, said:

“Hosting The Open is a chance to see one of the world’s most popular sports return to the country where it all started, so these are brilliant figures which highlight the huge economic benefit that bringing home such a prestigious championship has for Scotland.

“Troon is a fantastic course enjoyed by players and spectators alike, both for the quality and challenge of the course, and the remarkable scenery. However, it’s much more wide-ranging than that - it showcases Scotland’s ability to host world class events, it has benefits for local businesses and hotels - and it also inspires the next generation of players.

“We look forward to welcoming the world to Carnoustie in 2018 for the 147th Open Championship.”

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, added: “The Open is one of the world’s great sporting events and generates substantial economic benefit for the host country. We were delighted with the success of the Championship at Royal Troon which delivered tremendous entertainment for the tens of thousands of fans who came along to see the world’s top golfers competing. Henrik Stenson’s victory after such a gripping duel with Phil Mickelson was one of the finest performances in the long history of The Open.”

The EventScotland team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate leads on Scotland’s investment in golf events and has a long-running association with The R&A through its support of The Open.

Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “Scotland has a long and proud history of hosting The Open more than any other country and these figures illustrate the importance of the Championships to Scotland, not just in delivering economic impact and supporting jobs but in promoting Scotland as the Home of Golf and the perfect stage for major events to a global audience.

“The stunning pictures of the Ayrshire coastline that were beamed around the world from Royal Troon will have inspired many more visitors to Scotland. We look forward to welcoming The Open back to Carnoustie in 2018 and continuing our successful relationship with The R&A for many more years to come.”

Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said:

“The Open was a resounding success for South Ayrshire, with tens of millions of pounds of investment helping to support the local economy while marketing our area and many attractions across the world.

“The report found that 62% of non-Ayrshire residents said that they’d return here for a holiday, which is a fantastic endorsement of the welcome people enjoyed during their visits last year, something that will bring further economic benefits to the area.

“As the birthplace of Open golf, Ayrshire and Arran has a worldwide reputation for the sport, with incredible Championship venues, some of the top courses in the UK and, of course, our own eight links and parkland Golf South Ayrshire courses. We’re serious about keeping the sport alive and we’re already well placed to realise a long-term legacy from last year’s event and look forward to welcoming many more Opens in future years.”


The 145th Open was played at Royal Troon from 10-17 July 2016 and attracted the top players from around the world to Scotland, the Home of Golf.

The event was won by Swede Henrik Stenson following one of the most memorable final rounds in Open history as he went head-to-head with 2013 Champion Golfer of the Year Phil Mickelson, triumphing with a record-low score of 20-under-par.

The Open is golf’s oldest championship. Played since 1860 on iconic British and Irish links golf courses, it is the sport’s most international Major Championship with qualifying events on every continent.

Organised by The R&A, The Open delivers significant economic benefit to its host region, while the Championship’s commercial success supports the development of the game worldwide.

Many courses have hosted the event, with St Andrews being the most frequently used. 2016 was the ninth time that Royal Troon has played host to The Open.

Ayrshire is known as “The Birthplace of The Open” with the first 12 Championships played at Prestwick Golf Club from 1860.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

World Event for Amateur Golfers Launched in Ayrshire, Scotland

The inaugural World Masters Golf Championship has been launched with a call to all amateur golfers over 50 years of age to take up this unique opportunity to play on the iconic links of Scotland – the Home of Golf.
The World Masters Golf Championship provides the opportunity to play competitive golf on outstanding courses in a fun, social environment.  The event is open to all golfers with an official handicap who are over 50 years of age as at 17 September, 2017. 
The Championship will be staged over four days from 18 to 21 September 2017, on some of the best courses in the world.  Follow in the footsteps of legends and take your opportunity to play some of the great courses of Scotland, included amongst them Royal Troon, Prestwick and Dundonald.
The World Masters Golf Championship is the brainchild of Hamish Grey (formerly CEO of Scottish Golf) and Andy Salmon (formerly CEO of the Ladies’ Golf Union and Deputy CEO of Scottish Golf), who have over 50 years of experience in sport and golf event management between them.
‘The idea is to stage an annual celebration of golf with a top quality championship for club-level amateur golfers here at the Home of Golf - playing competitive golf in a fun, social environment on some of the world’s leading golf courses,’ said Grey.
The format is individual stableford with prize categories based on handicap and age - along with the overall prize and title of World Masters Golf Champion.  Staged over four days there are two packages on offer –
Flight one:
Play Prestwick, laid out by Old Tom Morris, who was the Club’s Professional, the original home of the Open Championship which has been staged a total of 24 times on the links at Prestwick;
Western Gailes, a stunning links course that has hosted Open qualifying and major amateur events such as the European Team Championships featuring a young Rory McIlroy, amongst others; and
Glasgow Gailes, another classic links that hosts Open Qualifying and many major amateur events – where Colin Montgomerie qualified for the 2016 Open staged at nearby Royal Troon.
Flight two:
Play Dundonald, the links course of Loch Lomond Golf Club, Dundonald hosted the last two editions of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Ladies’ Open and two months prior to the World Masters Golf Championship will host the 2017 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Championship;
Kilmarnock (Barassie), boasting 27 holes of pure links fun, Kilmarnock (Barassie) has also hosted Open Qualifying as well as numerous Scottish amateur tournaments and the European Youths Team Championship; and
Ayr Belleisle, a James Braid designed gem that in the true traditions of Scottish golf is a public course owned by the local authority.
Limited to 240 entrants, the top 120 participants after three rounds will qualify to play the nine-time Open Championship venue, Royal Troon, and follow in the footsteps of legends such as 2016 Open Champion Henrik Stenson.  The remaining 120 participants will have the opportunity to play the excellent Glasgow Gailes.
This celebration of golf will be started with a welcome reception on Sunday 17 September and conclude with a gala dinner on the evening of 21 September.
Competitors will have the opportunity to explore the great beauty and history of Scotland around the World Masters Golf Championship – enjoying great Scottish hospitality and the event of a lifetime.
Click on this link to see a short video outlining the event and go to for full details of how to enter the Championship for the golfing trip of a lifetime.

Take your chance to follow in the footsteps of legends …