THE Scottish Open may have moved on – for the time being anyway – but golf in the Highlands is enjoying a boom on the back of its three-year stint at Castle Stuart.
“It would be wrong to say the Scottish Open put the Highlands on the golfing map but it certainly helped raise awareness of the courses in the area,” said Fraser Cromarty, the CEO at Nairn Golf Club and chairman of the Highland Golf Links partnership.
To the extent, in fact, that golf tourism in the Highlands is growing by 20 per cent year on year. “The Scottish Open was great for both Castle Stuart and the Highlands,” added Cromarty. “Last year’s event in particular created a big spin-off due to the fact it was covered by NBC and was beamed into 550 million homes worldwide.”
As the area waits to welcome back the European Tour event – almost certainly in 2016 – an effort is being made to raise the awareness of the Tomatin Homecoming Pro-Am, which is being held at Castle Stuart, Nairn and Royal Dornoch on 30 September-2 October.
A full field of 75 teams will see it boast the Tartan Tour’s biggest prize fund of £60,000 this season, with the event, which is being held for the third time, reckoned to be worth £200,000 to the local economy.