9,000 want to get into the swing of Ryder Cup

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More than 9,000 golf enthusiasts have so far volunteered to help Scotland host the Ryder Cup – five times the required number.

Organisers of the 2014 Gleneagles event, who just launched the appeal, said half of all applications are from people in Scotland. The remainder comes from 46 countries, including the US, Iceland and Equatorial Guinea.

The process to find 1,800 people to fill roles such as scoreboard carriers, safety marshals and buggy drivers ends at midnight on 14 April.

Ryder Cup Europe director Richard Hills said: “We are extremely excited by the prospect of bringing the Ryder Cup to Scotland and this demonstrates the strength of interest and excitement in the event, particularly amongst the Scottish public.”

Cup organisers have been criticised by trade union body the STUC for “exploiting goodwill” by charging successful applicants £75 for their food, drink and clothing at the event.

The STUC said it would prefer to see young people given the opportunity to work at the tournament instead of “middle-class golf fans” who would probably pay to go to watch the tournament anyway. Around 250,000 spectators are expected to ­descend on Perthshire next September.

The Scottish Government has said the Ryder Cup will generate an estimated £100 million for the local economy in the week of the tournament.

A Ryder Cup spokesman said: “Registration fees are common to Ryder Cup volunteering programmes both in Europe and the US. They make a contribution to volunteers’ food and ­beverages as well as clothing for the event.”

Europe won last year’s competition, in Illinois, US, by a single point in one of the most dramatic final days the tournament has seen.