Lonely Planet Writer

Why golf tourism is having a boom in Scotland right now

With all eyes on the Scotland for the British Open at Royal Troon this week, comes news that Britain’s valuable golf tourism is likely to thrive after Brexit.

Alleyes on the Scottish course of Royal Troon this week.
Alleyes on the Scottish course of Royal Troon this week. Image by PA

Around 170,000 golf fans are expected to attend at least one day of the competition, with two thirds of them coming from outside Scotland.

The Open brought £140 million into the Scottish economy last year.
The Open brought £140 million into the Scottish economy last year. Image by PA

For the British Open last year, which was held at St Andrew’s course, it was estimated that GB£140 million was injected into the Scottish economy. VisitScotland are hoping for an even bigger bonanza this year and golf tourism across the United Kingdom is expected to be one of the things that will actually benefit from Brexit.

VisitScotland are hoping for an even bigger bonanza this year.
VisitScotland are hoping for an even bigger bonanza this year. Image by PA

The reduced value of sterling has had an impact with increased interest from US visitors in particular looking for golf holidays. Brexit is also considered likely to encourage staycations by UK residents, who will find their pounds go a little bit further now than if they were changed into euros and dollars.

Tourists have the chance of playing on one of the Open golf courses.
Tourists have the chance of playing on one of the Open golf courses. Image by PA

Particularly attractive for tourists are the chances of playing on one of the Open golf courses, of which there are nine currently active. Four of them are in Scotland: this year’s venue at Royal Troon, last year’s venue of St Andrews, along with the famous Carnoustie course along with Turnberry, which is owned by US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

There are currently nine active open golf courses in Scotland
There are currently nine active open golf courses in Scotland Image by PA

England is also home to four venues: Royal Birkdale, Royal Lytham & St Annes, and Royal Liverpool – all in the north of the country – and Royal St George’s in Kent. There is also a single course in Northern Ireland, Royal Portrush, which will play host to the Open in 2019 for the first time in almost seventy years.