We are not short of major sporting events coming to Scotland, with the last two years including the hosting of global attractions such as the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup, two Open championships and two Davis Cup semi-finals, among many other events.
It is doubtful if there has ever been a better time, and it’s fair to say that for a relatively small country, we have done well to attract – and keep on attracting – such exciting events. In some ways, they have made up for the hard times we have endured in core sports such as football and rugby in recent years, where our national teams have struggled to give us much to cheer about.
But while our administrators and politicians have done well to bring such events to Scotland and – just as importantly - make a success of them, we cannot take any of this for granted, so it is very good news that the prize money for golf’s Scottish Open is to rise by over £2 million, to £5.6 million, as the event becomes part of the lucrative new Rolex Series.
The Scottish Open has not always been a jewel in the Scottish sporting crown until it was elevated in status by new investment in recent years, but this new level of backing secures and enhances the event’s future.
There are well-rehearsed arguments that money has ruined sport, and that major events leave no legacy. But a Scottish Open every year featuring the world’s best golfers battling it out – courtesy of a sponsor - can only have a positive effect on the sport in this country, and will hopefully provide role models to inspire the next generation of young Scottish golfers to aim high – and straight down the middle.