Golf is in Scotland’s DNA. With 12 of the world’s top-ranked golf courses, we’re currently regarded as the world’s third hottest golfing destination – according to figures from the Scottish Golf Tourism Development Strategy. Scotland's unrivalled natural beauty, world-class courses and supportive golfing community put us in an enviable position. And this year, as the Ryder Cup returns to the original home of golf, we’ll raise our profile as one of the best places to ‘tee off’ in the world.
Scotland is no stranger to hosting large-scale sporting events. Fresh from wowing the world with the 2014 Commonwealth Games, we’ve proved we can play the game on a global scale.
The Scottish golf market – comprising regular fixtures like the Scottish Open, Johnnie Walker Championship and the Women’s British Open – is estimated at around £220 million annually, and is tipped to generate approximately £300 million by the end of the decade.
The Ryder Cup will bring an estimated 45,000 spectators per day to Scottish shores. Broadcasting to a worldwide TV audience averaging half a billion viewers, across 180 countries in total – the economic potential of the Ryder Cup is staggering. It will generate around £100 million over a week-long period. As a showcase for the golfing potential of Scotland, it heralds a massive opportunity for investment.
The home of golf
With the tournament returning to Scotland for the first time in forty years, Scotland has been quick to capitalize on its reputation as ‘the home of golf’. It has been a particularly resonant message with the American market – with 99% of U.S. visitors polled by Visit Scotland describing their Scottish golf vacation as “good” or “very good”.
With more world-class quality courses (Castle Stuart and Machrihanish Dunes) under development, the chance of attracting more high-spending golfers is high. Our existing facilities are already internationally-acclaimed - in 2012, Fife was awarded the title of ‘Best European Golf Tourism Destination’ by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators.
This expansion will only continue. Whilst the traditional golf markets of North America and the UK are expected to flat-line from 2015, the broadening of air route access is anticipated to increase the popularity of Scottish golf destinations, with a focus on the North East, Highlands, Fife and East Lothian.
Scotland’s total golf economy creates around £1.171 billion for the nation’s wider economy. This impact is felt indirectly by other sectors – like food and drink, hospitality and transport. With the golf tourism industry expected to expand by almost 30% this decade, the potential for growth is considerable.
Currently, there are over 600 golf facilities in Scotland. Per head, golf participation in Scotland is amongst the highest in Europe with over 4.5% of the population registered as club members. If you choose to invest here, you’ll find great facilities and a nurturing, supportive market - plus a real chance to raise your own profile.
With our noble golfing heritage, Scotland has a strong foundation to build on. In 2015/16, we’ll host The Open Championships – and we’ll again welcome visitors from all over the world with open arms.
How we can help
We can work with you to fund and facilitate your tourism project in Scotland – encouraging networking, smoothing transitions and providing informed advice that helps you make the right decision.