Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Western Gailes Saturday Tee Times

Following an incredibly successful British Senior Open at which it acted as the Final Qualifying Course, Western Gailes has increased the availability to visitors for Saturdays.
The Club Manager has advised GTS that thsi will include all Saturdays until the end of September to be included. Except for 19th July (Final Qualifying for Senior Open) and 30th August (the Club Championships).
The price is £100-00 (includes a course guide) and times are available from 3pm to 4.30pm. Western Gailers hope that freeing up these times will help with tour operator and hotelier flexibility. It has been decided to extend this initiative into the 2009 season from the first Saturday in May till the last Saturday in September although the Green Fee has not been fixed yet.

World Hickory Open Details

Preparations are well under way for the staging of the 4th World Hickory Open sponsored by the PGA World Hickory Open Championship (WHO) and Pro-Am and hosted for the 3rd year running by Craigielaw Golf Club between 24th and 26th September 2008.
Lionel Freedman, who is both Chairman of the Board of Directors of WHO and Captain of Craigielaw GC, as well as a member of the British Golf Collectors Scotland, reports that WHO has now established itself as a popular annual event and expects to also welcome up to 20 participants from the US, and another 20 from Sweden as well as teams from France, Ireland, Korea, Canada and the home countries - positive proof that this Tournament has now generated fast growing appeal. The WHO Championship will be the culmination of a week long festival of hickory golf. As a new venture and in co-operation with East Lothian Council, the preceding week’s golf will be played over some of Scotland’s most picturesque hickory-friendly courses including Gullane No.3, Kilspindie and Musselburgh Old Course. The itinerary for this event can be found on the event web site www.worldhickoryopen.com.
This year GTS members, St Andrews Golf Co. Ltd. has become a key partner in the WHO organisation. “As the last manufacturers of fully playable hickory shafted clubs, we felt this event was the ideal showcase for our products,” says St Andrews Golf Co. director Ewan Glen. “We have 125 years experience in making hickories with traditional materials in the traditional way.” Lionel Freedman, Chairman of the WHO, says that this plus the addition of the Festival of Golf represents the most significant development for WHO since its inaugural Championship at Musselburgh Old Course in 2005. “We look forward to developing the new relationship, which is certain to provide new depth and quality for WHO. For example, STAG will stage a longest drive competition using a hickory driver. They will also have a stand showing off their products. “And there will be more that we will talk about later,” adds Lionel Freedman. Amongst the growing band of overseas competitors, Mike Stevens, the U.S. National Hickory Champion 2005, will be returning for the 3rd year running while Scots pro Dean Robertson who won the pro-am last year is coming back for the 2008 Tournament. As part of The Tartan Tour, it is expected that the professional entry will continue to grow from the 40+ who competed last year for the £17,500 prize, one of the larger prize funds on offer in Scotland.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

GTS Annual Awards - Reservations Now Being Taken

The Annual Awards Dinner taking place on Thursday 13th of November is now open for bookings.
The booking form is now available for the annual Awards Dinner to be held this year at De Vere Cameron House, Loch Lomond. This annual industry ceremony needs little introduction for those who have previously attended but for those who haven't been before it provides an opportunity to celebrate the past year's best performers in the company of the golf tourism industry.
The bar was set at Fairmont in 2007 with regards to the expectations and we look forward to making 2008 just as memorable.
As usual the event will be preceeded by the GTS Annual General meeting and this year will be followed by golf on the Carrick Course on the Friday morning.
Download the Booking Form here and return by post or email.

April Golf Tourism Monitor Results Published

Golf tourism is a key sector of Scotland’s overall tourism industry, and measuring its performance is vital. The Golf Tourism Monitor does this by gathering, analysing, and reporting on monthly figures provided by a wide cross-section of golf courses across Scotland.
Golf Tourism Scotland is conducting the 2008 Monitor on behalf of VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise.

It is being carried out by Golf Tourism Scotland, and managed on their behalf by Mike Williamson.
Each month, Golf Tourism Scotland will publish summary reports based on the figures submitted. These reports summarise overall levels and patterns in golf tourism in Scotland for the month in question, and the reports can be accessed on the public area of the website. Courses participating in the Monitor are able to log in and call up more detailed reports comparing their performance to the averages for their region, or other courses of a similar type elsewhere in Scotland.
The April Report 2008 is now available

Scottish Golf Tourism Industry Calls for Greater Say in Marketing Planning

Press Release - 23rd July 2008

Scottish Golf Tourism Industry Calls for Greater Say in Marketing Planning

Golf industry workshop indicates the best way for forward for the future.

As Greg Norman and company head to Royal Troon this week for the British Seniors Open there comes a strident call to action from the golf tourism industry across Scotland.

Following the Golf Tourism Scotland national industry workshop in Ayr last week, attended by more than fifty businesses from across the country, the clear message emerging was the need for the industry to be given the lead in developing the future marketing planning for the Scottish golf product.

GTS Chairman Gary Wilkinson, speaking in St Andrews yesterday, called on the public sector bodies to recognise the skills of those in the private sector and conclude that effective and efficient marketing planning could only come with strong partnership with the industry.

"The workshop in Ayrshire last week underlined the product knowledge and understanding of the market place that those working in the industry on a day to day basis have.

With the current economic conditions it is imperative that the marketing effort to promote Scotland is one that has industry support - and undoubtedly the best way to secure that support is through their input. This is not about increasing public sector expenditure, it is more fundamental and focuses on the need for the industry to be involved at all stages of the planning process. Something that has been wholly lacking in recent years.”

The workshop focussed on key areas including structure, marketing, product development and future funding and generated a range of action points.

Gary Wilkinson continued, "In more than eighteen years in the industry it was one of the most positive and productive meetings I have been involved in and the enthusiasm and desire for action was unprecedented."

The workshop resulted in a direct call on VisitScotland and its partners to recognise the value of having this untapped industry knowledge base involved in developing its marketing activities for the future.

"The industry knows the product and market better than anyone else and it cannot continue to be ignored in the way it has. Whether it be Homecoming Scotland 2009, Ryder Cup 2014, website marketing, exhibitions and events strategy or improving industry communications, it is critical that Golf Tourism Scotland and its members are fully recognised as providing the proverbial extra club in the bag."

Key points emerging from the meeting included;

1. Golf Tourism Scotland wants to ensure that the public sector is securing best value from the estimated £1 million annual marketing spends on golf, and urges rigorous analysis of the use of public funding. Its aim is to ensure the effectiveness of current expenditure and leverage private support. Private sector marketing on golf in Scotland is conservatively estimated to be 3 times the value of public sector funding.

2. Golf Tourism Scotland, as an industry-led body, has consistently requested a greater say in the marketing development of the Scottish golf product and consistently been excluded from most of the decision-making processes.

3. Golf Tourism Scotland calls for realistic growth targets for the industry, based on rigorous statistical analysis and proper understanding of current commercial conditions and challenges.

4. Golf Tourism Scotland calls for genuine partnership, increased communication, creative thinking, realistic goals and decision-making processes at national and governmental level that include, rather than ignore, the vast knowledge and experience on offer from the private sector.

5. The current economic climate and industry frustration at the lack of co-ordinated activity in the past requires action on all levels.

6. If given the means and the cooperation the golf tourism industry in Scotland can deliver a great product.

7. The full report from the workshops with the detailed findings is attached and for download from www.golftourismscotland.com


Attached: Report from Golf Tourism Workshop July 2008

Full information on Golf Tourism Scotland is available at www.golftourismscotland.com

Further details contact Ian McCaig 01292 521404