GOLF’S Ryder Cup trophy has set off on a tour of Scotland ahead of the competition being staged at Gleneagles later this month.
It arrived in Edinburgh today with golf fans, tourists and office workers all stopping by to catch a glimpse of the trophy as it was displayed in the city’s Omni Centre.
It will then travel by helicopter embarking on a journey across Scotland, making stops in the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Argyll, Harris, Shetland and Aberdeenshire.
The week-long tour will come to an end when the trophy arrives at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire next week ahead of some of the world’s top golfers from Europe and America descending on the fairways on September 26.
Tim Hunt, marketing communications director of Ryder Cup Europe, said: “The build-up has been huge and it’s reaching fever pitch now with three weeks to go.
“We are taking the trophy to all four corners of Scotland. The support from Scotland for the Ryder Cup has been fantastic over the years but as we are near the event itself it’s showing Scotland is really behind the Ryder Cup and it’s great to be here.
“The Ryder Cup is unique, it’s a special event - it’s going to be a fantastic three days of competition with huge crowds watching top level golf.”
Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of tourism body Visit Scotland, added: “The Ryder Cup offers a huge range of benefits. There’s obviously the economic benefit. If you look at Celtic Manor down in Wales, when it was last held in the UK, that generated over £82 million of economic benefit to the communities. We think that we can beat that.
“It’s also about legacy, we’ve had 300,000 young children who have all had the opportunity to pick up a golf club - that’s going to be great for the game.
“We’ve got people coming into Scotland who are travelling all around the country that are playing across the country, so they are going to see just how wonderful Scotland is - that’s why it’s the home of golf.”