Golf tourism is worth an estimated £300 million each year to the Scottish economy.

The Genesis Scottish Open takes its place this week in the run-up to The Open, a date secured by VisitScotland and the Scottish Government as part of a new long-term commitment to the event.

It is co-sanctioned for the first time by the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour of America, ensuring the course is among the strongest in history. To date, seven of the world’s top 10 male players are set to play at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian.

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Following The Open, legends of the men’s game will be in action at Gleneagles as the King’s Course hosts the fifth Major Championship on the Champions Tour schedule as The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex returns to Scotland for the first time since 2018.

According to tourism chiefs, Scotland continues to lead the way in investment in women’s golf events, supporting the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Links in Ayrshire later this month, while the AIG Women’s Open will break new ground when it takes place. at Muirfield in August, East Lothian, for the first time.

More than 100,000 spectators are expected to attend these events, in addition to the 290,000 expected to attend the St Andrews Open.

Roughhead maintains that these golf events provide the perfect setting to showcase Scotland’s world-class golf courses and regions to the world, as well as the wider scenery, attractions and warm welcome.

Stunning venues like The Renaissance Club in East Lothian, where the Rolex Series event will take place for the fourth consecutive year, being golf tourists Image: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

He said: “Golf attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year from across the UK and Ireland, the US, Germany and Scandinavia to test themselves on what they have seen as spectators and on television.

“We are very fortunate to have hundreds of exceptional golf courses to fit any budget, many within easy reach of our cities and major transportation hubs. Golf visitors spend more than a typical visitor on extras like hotels, hospitality and retail , so there is a real incentive for the entire tourism industry to attract golf fans looking to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the action this summer.”

He added: “Golf is one of Scotland’s biggest selling points to tens of millions of golfers around the world, and no other country can match our history or heritage in the game. The written records of golf being played here dates back to the Middle Ages and we have some of the oldest golf courses in the world.

“Overall, golf tourism is estimated to be worth £286m annually to Scotland, supporting around 4,400 jobs. As well as driving tourism, the health and wellness aspect of golf stood out during the pandemic as one of the first activities to reopen after lockdown providing exercise and social interaction.”

The Old Course at St Andrews allows spectators to watch the action unfold from just yards away, as Tom Watson demonstrated at the 1984 Open Image: Allsport UK /Allsport.