Teeing up in the Highlands

The Scottish Open at Gullane and The Open at St Andrews both saw images of Scotland broadcast to a global audience and play a crucial role in helping to bring golf enthusiasts to Scotland.

Home to more courses per head of population than anywhere else in the world, golf tourism is estimated to be worth £220 million to the Scottish economy and supports around 4,400 jobs. For every £1 a visiting golfer spends on green fees, a further £5 is spent on extras such as food & drink and entertainment.

VisitScotland has been a long-time supporter of both events, and with the Scottish Open returning to Castle Stuart in 2016, has been working to bring the Highlands into the golfing spotlight.

VisitScotland’s The Distillery featured an interview with the Bryan brothers from South Carolina, as they made their maiden voyage across the Atlantic ahead of Scotland’s summer of golf. The brothers undertook a grand tour of Scotland, which included a trip to Urquhart Castle and Cairngorms National Park.  

American author and journalist Tom Coyne also spent some time travelling around the Highlands as part of a fact finding mission for his latest book, ‘A Course Called the Kingdom: in Search of Scotland, a Secret and a Jug.’

Working alongside VisitScotland, the author visited some of Scotland’s stunning world-class golf courses. His visit to the Highlands saw him teeing off at Castle Stuart, Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Club, Tarbat Golf Club, Tain Golf Course, Royal Dornoch, Golspie Golf Club, Brora Golf Club, Wick Golf Club, Reay Golf Course, Durness Golf Club, Gairloch Golf Club, Isle of Skye Golf Club and Traigh Golf Course.

VisitScotland continues to support events across Scotland including the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge, which has been held in Aviemore since 2009. The event took place at Spey Valley Golf Club, from 25 to 28 June and received £125,000 in support from VisitScotland, with a commitment for continued support through to 2018.

If you are thinking of tapping into this lucrative market, why not take a look at Tourism Intelligence Scotland’s Golf Tourism in Scotland guide.  Tourism Intelligence Scotland is delivered in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, VisitScotland and the Scottish Tourism Alliance.

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