MORE THAN 340,000 spectators attended golf events in Scotland this year, new figures show.
The Ryder Cup drew the biggest crowds, with about 240,000 spectators descending on Gleneagles in Perthshire in September for the biennial clash between Europe and the US. The attendance was the best-ever for a golf event in Scotland.
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTSMAN
• Subscribe to our daily newsletter (requires registration) and get the latest news, sport and business headlines delivered to your inbox every morning
Other events such as the Junior Ryder Cup, the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and the Dunhill Links Championships took the total attendance at golf events over the course of the year to in excess of 340,000.
Tourism bosses said it is believed to be the second-highest year for golf event attendance in the country’s history, behind 2007 when The Open, Women’s British Open and the Senior Open Championship were held in Scotland alongside three main European Tour events.
VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay said 2014 was a momentous year for golf north of the border.
He added: “The economic impact of these spectators for Scotland is significant and underlines the reasons why Scotland places so much importance on staging the world’s biggest and best golf events.
“In the short-term, accommodation providers, visitor attractions, golf courses, restaurants and many more businesses certainly feel the benefit from golf events.
“In the long-term, with such vast numbers of spectators attending and stunning television shots of Scotland being beamed across the globe, golf events present a unique opportunity to enhance and showcase Scotland, not only as the home of golf but also a destination for future leisure and business trips.”
VisitScotland expects crowds to top 300,000 again next year, with nine professional events confirmed to take place, including The Open at St Andrews.