Monday, December 16, 2013

Scotland takes the crown in Golf Digest destination survey

Readers' Top 36 Buddies Destinations

The most important ingredient in any buddies trip is the mix of players. But after that, it's the destination. We recently surveyed Golf Digest subscribers to find out their favorite destinations for buddies-golf getaways. Here are the top-36 places they're hoping to visit again this year.

No. 1 Destination - Scotland
Play: The Old Course at St. Andrews, Machrihanish Dunes (pictured above), Trump International Golf Links, and Carnoustie.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Gilbert: An Great Asset to Scottish Golf

The Scottish golf tourism industry has paid tribute to the contribution of Aberdeen Asset Management to golf in Scotland by honouring CEO Martin Gilbert with the coveted Special Achievement Award at the 10th annual Scottish Golf Tourism Excellence Awards.
left to right: Stewart Walker, Chair, Golf Tourism Scotland; Douglas Connon, Head of Corporate Events at Aberdeen Asset Management; Richard Hills, European Ryder Cup Director   (EuropeanTour)
left to right: Stewart Walker, Chair, Golf Tourism Scotland; Douglas Connon, Head of Corporate Events at Aberdeen Asset Management; Richard Hills, European Ryder Cup Director (EuropeanTour)

Gilbert was one of 11 winners on an evening when representatives of the Scottish golf tourism industry voted their top performers of 2013 during Golf Tourism Scotland’s annual awards ceremony at the five-star De Vere Cameron House Hotel on the banks of Loch Lomond.

Members of Golf Tourism Scotland (GTS), the body representing the golf tourism industry, wanted to recognise Aberdeen Asset Management’s commitment to golf in Scotland, which not only includes title sponsorship of both the Scottish and Ladies Scottish Opens, but huge support to players through all levels of the game.

Stewart Walker, chairman of GTS, said: “The golf industry is of vital importance to the Scottish economy and it is therefore key that everyone in the industry works together to build an even bigger future for golf in this country.
“We would like to thank Martin Gilbert for his commitment to golf in Scotland and we are delighted to honour him with the Special Achievement Award for 2013. I would also like to congratulate all our winners on such a special evening. To be honoured among the world-class golf businesses we have here is no mean feat and shows that golf tourism in Scotland is in very good hands for the future.”

More than 130 guests attended the awards ceremony, sponsored by Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental, on Friday 22 November to pay tribute to the excellent achievements of the Scottish golf industry during a successful 2013. The awards were presented by BBC Sport Commentator, and keen golfer, Andrew Cotter while guests were also treated to entertainment by the Singer Swingers, sponsored by CalMac Ferries. Official suppliers to the awards were The Leith Silver Company, ScotCrystal and Kilts4U.

The full list of winners recognised were:
1. Young Industry Person of the Year Ruairidh Macdonald
2. Accommodation Experience of the Year (21 bedrooms or fewer) Sandown House, Nairn
3. Accommodation Experience of the Year (22 bedrooms or more) Macdonald Marine Hotel
4. Resort Experience of the Year (Accommodation provider with a minimum of 50 rooms and an attached golf course or courses) The Village at Machrihanish Dunes
5. Transport Provider of the Year
St Andrews Executive Travel  6. Domestic Golf Tour Operator of the Year Sponsored by Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental Links Golf St Andrews
7. International Golf Tour Operator of the Year Sponsored by Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental Haversham & Baker, USA
8. Course & Club Experience of the Year (Green fee of £75 or less) Fairmont St Andrews (The Kittocks Course)
9. Course & Club Experience of the Year (Green fee above £75) Kingsbarns Golf Links
10. GTS Sustainability Award 2013 The Village at Machrihanish Dunes
11. Special Achievement Award 2013 Martin Gilbert, CEO, Aberdeen Asset Management

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


The five-star Fairmont St Andrews resort has cemented its position as a leading golf destination with the announcement that the resorts Kittocks Course has won the Golf Club and Course Experience of the Year for 2013 at the GTS Scottish Golf Tourism Excellence Awards

The Golf Tourism Scotland awards recognise the very best exponents of golf in Scotland and are voted for by those who are most knowledgeable on the subject – the people working within the country’s golf tourism industry.

The five-star Fairmont St Andrews resort boasts two championship golf courses, The Torrance and The Kittocks, and has played host to a number of prestigious events, including both the Open Championship’s final local qualifying and the SSE Scottish Senior Open since 2009.

Originally opened in 2001 and designed by Bruce Devlin, the coastal Kittocks course offers 18 challenging holes with spectacular panoramic views of the Eden Estuary and North Sea. Enhanced following remediation work in 2009, The Kittocks Course, with its undulating terrain, can be played from four sets of tees, with golf buggies available, making it ideal for players of all abilities

Fairmont St Andrews’ general manager, Robert Glashan, who accepted the award on behalf of the resort, said: “We’re very proud of all the accolades Fairmont St Andrews has amassed over the last couple of years as a resort, but for The Kittocks Course to receive added recognition from the Golf Tourism industry here in Scotland is something really special.  This is testament to all the hard work that our Golf Course Superintendent Neil Ballingall and his team put in throughout the year”

During its 12-year history Fairmont St Andrews has accumulated a host of accolades for hospitality, golf, spa and cuisine, as well as welcoming some of the world’s most powerful individuals as the venue for a G20 summit and Northern Ireland peace talks, while Prince William was a regular visitor and member of the spa and gym while studying at university.

For more information or to book a stay, call 01334 837000, email or visit

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ryder Cup train tickets going fast

NEARLY 5,000 golf fans have already booked their spots on special rail services heading to Gleneagles for the Ryder Cup.

Sales of tickets for the dedicated train services opened around a fortnight ago to high demand, Transport Scotland said.
The services will make an extra 7,500 spaces available for those heading to the Ryder Cup each day of the tournament.
Worthy welcome
Transport Minister Keith Brown unveiled the sales figures as he visited Gleneagles station to meet some of the spectators buying train tickets for travel to the 2014 event.
The tournament in September will see the world’s top golfers do battle in the clash between European and America in Perthshire.
Mr Brown said: “Scotland will be propelled to a truly international audience during 2014, with spectators in tens of thousands and audiences in their millions watching the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games, among other events.
“It is only right we offer a worthy welcome to our visitors including an attractive transport network with sufficient capacity. With the ongoing station upgrades announced earlier this year and these extra spaces, spectators can relax in the knowledge we will get them to the event in comfort and on time.
“This latest commitment is part of a wider package of measures we are implementing to improve public transport for events in the Year of Homecoming 2014. Our overall aim is to encourage as many people as possible to minimise their car journeys while providing a lasting legacy that increases future public transport use.”
Road funding
Mr Brown has also announced a Scottish Government contribution of £1 million towards the new £3.8 million link road aimed at improving safety and access between Gleneagles station and the A9 road.
Project managers Perth and Kinross Council are contributing £1.5 million to the scheme, while a further £1.2 million is coming from the Tayside and Central Scotland transport body, Tactran.
Council leader Ian Miller said: “Perth and Kinross Council has been working for many years to secure the improvement of road access to Gleneagles station, making it safer and opening opportunities for a local transport hub. We’re delighted that the project has come to fruition in time for the Ryder Cup. The new link road is a key project in our legacy programme, ensuring long-term benefits for our residents.”
Work on the road has started and is expected to be completed by June next year.
Gleneagles station is also having a facelift, which will see an overhaul of the station buildings and the installation of new lifts, waiting rooms and toilet facilities.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Scottish Tourism Week 2014

Scottish Tourism Week 2014 - STA Signature Conference programme
11th March: Parliamentary Reception, The Garden Lobby, Holyrood - 18.00:20.00
12th March: Conference day 1, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh - 09.45:17.00 Reception & Dinner (Reception & "Informal" Dinner with a Difference with entertainment), The Caves, Edinburgh - 19.00:24.00
13th March: ½ Day Conference day 2, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh - 09.15:13.30
For more information visit The Scottish Tourism Alliance web site.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Golf Tourism Alliance seeks to provide multi-million

A new public and private partnership has been formed with the aim of adding £30million to the value of golf tourism in the north-east by 2020.

The main objective of the Golf Tourism Alliance is to boost the number of visitors to Aberdeen City and Shire to play the wide range of golf facilities available in the area.

The alliance has established an interim executive group with representatives of the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Partnership (ATP), golf clubs, accommodation providers, golf tour operators and the public sector from the City and Shire.

Elaine Booth, from ATP, said: “We want Aberdeen City and Shire to be seen as the serious golfing destination we know it to be and maximise the growth potential we have to offer.”

“The formation of the alliance will allow the private and public sectors to promote working together on joint business development, with the aim of attracting more golfing visitors to the area.”

The Golf Tourism Alliance has been created following findings from the ‘Future of Golf for Aberdeen City and Shire’ report published earlier this year that highlighted the potential to boost visitor spending from £20million to over £50million by 2020. 

To help drive the alliance forward, a Golf Tourism Development Executive has been appointed. The contract will be led by Hector Emslie of Golfers Scotland and his Banchory-based team, Christine Halliday and Andrew Shinie.

The two year part time role has been financially supported by Visit Aberdeen, Scottish Enterprise, Aberdeenshire Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Hector Emslie said: “The north-east offers a magnificent range of value for money courses as well as the best links golf in the world.

“There is an ever-increasing demand for golf from visitors from all over the UK and overseas so we look forward to offering a range of golf packages; value added breaks and benefits to visiting golfers and club members alike.

“Our aim is to make Aberdeen City and Shire the first choice golf destination of the future.”

Monday, October 14, 2013

On The Tee Golf Visitor Marketing

On The Tee (OTT) is a Scottish Enterprise initiative designed to help clubs attract more visitors, increase revenue and provide a visitor experience worthy of the Home of Golf.
It’s all about attracting visitors to your club, recognising what they expect from their time with you and delivering it.
OTT is delivered at your club to your entire team, helping make sure that everyone understands what’s being done and why it matters, as well as helping them hone their skills. The programme will review everything from your revenue streams to the warmth of your welcome, and then deliver workshops that help you raise your game across the board. We’ll help you develop an Action Plan, based on the needs of your club, and show you how to make the most of it – and the opportunities that exist.
Scottish Enterprise have appointed BTS, an Edinburgh based marketing business with many years experience in Golf Tourism to deliver On The Tee. Clubs and courses BTS have worked with include Kingsbarns, Cruden Bay, Crail, Lundin Links, Fraserburgh and the Fife Golf Partnership and Carnoustie Country regional golf groups. 
The team delivering On The Tee are:-

  • Stewart Walker: Managing Director, Stewart is also a Director of the Fife Golf Trust and Chair of Golf Tourism Scotland
  • Susan Ireland, Marketing Director, BTS
Nineteen clubs in Scotland have completed On The Tee since its inception in 2010 and are enjoying the benefits of participating- shouldn't you join them?

Get involved
To secure your place in the 2014 programme apply now - spaces are limited and only a few clubs will be selected to participate.
If you would like to find out more about joining the On The Tee: 
Call call 0845 607 8787, or email or register on line

The programme is supported and funded by Scottish Enterprise and is available to clubs across Scotland. There is a nominal charge of £200 per club and a selection criteria, so call us to find out if you are eligible for support to join the programme.

Edinburgh Golf

Edinburgh Golf is an new umbrella organisation, open to all clubs in the Edinburgh area, primarily set up to promote golf in the capital city. Current membership is thirteen golf clubs, with several more expected to join before 2014. Edinburgh Golf has set up with four key aims.

These are:-
  • Increase Golf Club Membership – of all categories, but with specific emphasis on families, ladies and juniors.
  • Partnerships – we aim to establish partnerships, both commercial and mutually beneficial in other ways, with key organisations and service providers
  • Visitors – linking in with the Scottish Tourism Strategy, we want to attract visitors from Scotland, the rest of the UK, Europe and the United States of America to come to Edinburgh and play golf whilst in the city
  • Supplier Management – to identify areas where clubs, as a collective, can bring their buying power together to reduce costs, to be re-invested in improving the infrastructure to help retain members by improving the service they provide.
The following golf clubs make up the initiative; Baberton, Broomieknowe, Craigmillar Park, Duddingston, Kingsknowe, Liberton, Lothianburn, Merchants, Musselburgh – Monktonhall, Prestonfield, Ratho Park, Swanston New and Turnhouse. The clubs committed to the initiative in September 2012 and a steering group of five representatives was set-up. Planning and development began in January 2013 when a full-time project coordinator was employed to plan and deliver phase 1 of the initiative, which was completed in July 2013.

The initiative is now moving on to phase 2, which will progress our aims by supporting golf development, growing awareness about the initiative, promoting benefits of being a member of a Edinburgh Golf affiliate club, grow the number of affiliate clubs and engage with other stakeholders including accommodation providers, universities and local businesses.

Further information can be found at the website

Friday, October 11, 2013

Driving Forward Together Golf Tourism Seminars

Driving Forward Together
Golf Tourism Seminars

Golf in Scotland is recognised as one of our most important tourism assets. Driving Forward Together – the first national golf tourism strategy – was launched by Hazel Irvine (BBC) at Murrayshall Hotel by in September. It aims to unify golf tourism in Scotland, resulting in a “Team Scotland” approach that benefits everyone. It will also help everyone involved in the game re-evaluate, revise and refresh their approach to marketing, promotion and customer care. Driving Forward Together has been developed by the golf tourism industry, in partnership with the public sector, for the benefit of all golf tourism businesses in Scotland.

Our free Driving Forward Together seminars are a great way to find out more about the Scottish Golf Tourism Development Strategy and explore – with both our team and fellow golf businesses – how we can achieve our ambitions for growth and Scotland’s goal “to be the world’s leading golfing destination by 2020”.

Seminar format

These free three-hour sessions are for all sectors of the industry and aim to demonstrate the potential benefits of the strategy and highlight the numerous opportunities and initiatives that are already in place to help Scotland achieve its golfing ambitions.

The agenda: 

  • The 2014 Ryder Cup, maximising the opportunities:
  • Business Support for Golf Tourism – a look at the initiatives and programmes you could be part of:
  • Golf Tourism Marketing Activity 2014:
  • Industry Updates:
  • Summary & Close:

Who should attend?

If you believe in the future of Scottish golf and are committed to playing a part in growing Scotland’s golf tourism market share, this free event is for you – and anyone in your team who shares this vision. From Captains to Catering Managers, General Managers to Golf Professionals; if someone plays a part in delivering customer excellence for your club or business, they’re bound to benefit from this event. All we ask is that attendees come with an open mind and a willingness to share ideas and experiences.

How to book your place:

This is a free event. Places are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis. Reserve your place online via the Scottish Enterprise event reservation service by simply clicking the link below. You can also book on 0845 607 8787 or by emailing 

Book On Line

Inverness 20th November
Newmachar 21st November
Irvine 26th November
Perth 28th November
Peebles 3rd December

Thursday, October 10, 2013


15th Annual Tournament Brings Golfers from Around the Globe to Argyll
October 7 – 10, 2013

Argyll, Scotland – October 9,  2013 - Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club announced today that play for the 2013 International Pairs World Finals from October 7 – October 10, 2013 has begun.  The International Pairs World Finals, a global championship, has teams from more than 30 different countries, including the Czech Repulic, Romania, Spain, Portugal, Wales, Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago, Egypt, South

Africa, Ireland, UK, USA and the United Arab Emirates to name a few.   The tournament kicked off with a procession through Main Street, Campbeltown with the Machrihanish Dunes Sound of Kintyre Pipe Band, and met in the Square by the James McCorkindale School of Dancing.   

View the procession:

Now in its 15th year, the International Pairs World Finals competition is comprised of more than 120 club golfers who have surpassed regional and country finals to represent their country in the final matches at Machrihanish Dunes.   Since its inception in 2004, thousands of golfers representing more than 35 countries have competed in the event.  The title of International Pairs World Champion has been held by pairs from three different continents, with the 2012 winners hailing from Portugal. 

“Scotland is the birthplace of golf, and we’re pleased to host the World Pairs International Championship this fall.  The teams will appreciate the nuances of this championship links course, and experience golf the way it began,” said David Southworth, President and CEO of Southworth Development, owners of Machrihanish Dunes. 

The tournament format will include a practice round and two competition rounds over the 3-day period.  To participate, players first have to compete in a Club Qualifier event at their home club. Clubs can register at  The local Club Qualifier can be a medal, charity or other tournament.  Winners of the local qualifiers then proceed to Regional Finals, the winners of which then have the opportunity to participate in the International Pairs World Finals at Machrihanish Dunes.  Clubs that want to participate in the International Pairs World Championship are encouraged to get more information by visiting, where they can also register for the tournament. 

The vision of the Village at Machrihanish Dunes was to create a world-class seaside resort, including a U.K. Top-100 links golf course, four-star accommodations, dining and other facilities in one of Scotland’s most beautiful regions.  The course was the first 18-hole course in the U.K. to earn certification from the Golf Environmental Organization, and was named the most ecologically-friendly course in the world by ABTA Golf Magazine in 2012.  The course was designed by David McLay-Kidd, who as a child played in the same dunes where he ultimately laid out the Machrihanish Dunes golf course.  The course opened in 2009 on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the first course ever to be built on such a site and also the first to be built on the west coast of Scotland in over 100 years.  At Machrihanish Dunes, golfers can experience an award-winning seaside links course, firm in the knowledge that its fragile and pristine setting will be carefully conserved for years to come.  Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club was ranked #38 out of 100 links course in Great Britain by National Club Golfer, and has been consistently ranked in the Top 100 courses in the U.K. since its opening. 

The resort’s two hotels are newly restored historic structures, and between them offer five dining outlets, a spa and fitness facility.  The Ugadale Hotel, located in Machrihanish near the golf course, earned the 2012 “Golf Hotel of the Year” Award from the Scottish Hotel Awards.  The Ugadale offers 22 luxurious rooms and suites at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, overlooking the famed first tee of neighbouring Machrihanish Golf Club (Ranked No. 40 on National Club Golfer’s list of Britain’s best).  The Ugadale is also home to The Kintyre Club restaurant and The Serenity Spa. Just steps away lie The Old Clubhouse Pub and the award-winning, two-bedroom,, Ugadale Cottages, which offer luxurious and comfortable and self-catering accommodation for families, travelling business executives or groups of golfers.  Built in 2009, they have received Trip Advisor’s “Certificate of Excellence” for three years running and were also named “Hotel of the Year” in the small hotels category by Golf Tourism Scotland.  The Royal Hotel is a listed historic site, located overlooking picturesque Campbeltown Harbour.  The renovations of The Royal included retaining the original stained glass windows as well as the fireplace mantel pieces. The Royal features 23 marvellously-appointed rooms, each with harbour views, and is home to the spirited good times of The Black Sheep Pub and fine-dining of The Harbourview Grille.  

As the most ambitious resort development ever created in Argyll, The Village at Machrihanish Dunes is hosting visitors from around the globe, as well as a variety of international competitions in 2013, including:  Men’s and Ladies’ Champion of Champions Tournaments to be held in April, the Machrihanish Dunes Hickory Open to be held in September, and the 15th Annual International Pairs Competition scheduled for October, 2013.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Golf Tourism Officer for Perthshire

An opportunity has arisen for a suitably experienced Golf Tourism Officer in Perth & Kinross County, for the duration of two years, with a possibility of an extension,. to develop golf and golf breaks.

The development of the company, Perthshire Golf Breaks, is the result of collaboration of golf clubs, hotels and visitor attractions in Perthshire, with the aim of promoting Perthshire as a golf destination.

Several meetings with representatives from the public sector and wider golf industry have taken place and it is clear from these meetings that there is an appetite for Perthshire to create its own Golf Tourism Officer who will market the region as a desirable golf destination and work closely with the project board for Perthshire Golf Breaks. Applications for the role of Golf Tourism Officer are welcome from suitably experienced individuals and should be received by Friday 8th November 2013.


Applications should be sent to:

The Chairman
Perthshire Golf Breaks

Mailbox 7, King James VI Business Centre
Friarton Road, Perth


Monday, October 7, 2013


After three days of top-class hickory golf on two historic Carnoustie Country golf courses, the World Hickory Open 2013 was won by Swiss golf professional Paolo Quirici.

“What a highly enjoyable event,” said Paolo, who only took up hickory golf two years ago.  “It was like going back in history, providing a reminder of what golf used to be – and what golf should be. Let’s do it all again next year!”

Tournament organiser Lionel Freedman explained that the World Hickory Open is a two-day tournament playing with hickory-shafted golf clubs and, in keeping with the ethos of the tournament, the competitors all dress impeccably in golfing outfits inspired by the golfers of the 1920s and 1930s. “This year’s World Hickory Open was played on Montrose Medal, a Carnoustie Country golf course with a golfing heritage stretching back over 450 years, which certainly added to the historic atmosphere of the event,” said Lionel, who co-founded the World Hickory Open nine years ago.  

“This tournament is much more than a recreation of golf’s glory days – it’s an opportunity for some of the world’s best hickory golfers to test their skills against each other on top notch links courses. Every year, the standard of golf played in the World Hickory Open soars higher and this was certainly highlighted by this year’s tournament, which was played on a challenging course and in sometimes difficult weather conditions.”

Golf professional Andrew Marshall from Norfolk was runner-up in the World Hickory Open, with Geoff Bleasby from Sussex in third place. The winner of the ladies competition was 18-year-old Swedish golfer Frida Rydberg, a first time competitor who had travelled to Carnoustie Country from Stockholm with her parents, who were also competing in the tournament. “It was great fun to play here,” said Frida. “The courses are so very different from those in Sweden.”

Despite the second round of the tournament being accompanied by heavy rain and strong winds, Mike Stevens, several times National Hickory Champion of America, had a wonderful time at the World Hickory Open. “My second day on Montrose Medal was tough – but it was still very enjoyable,” said Mike, who is a golf professional in Tampa, Florida.  “Playing on Montrose Medal, with its long, illustrious history, really added to the favour of the event and made it very special.”

Paul Adams was a member of the three-strong South African team. “Montrose Medal is a superb golf course,” he said. “Playing a shot with hickory clubs is difficult enough but at Montrose, I also had to learn how to play the course, which was a huge but incredibly rewarding challenge. In addition, I loved the practice round at Ashludie, which is another Carnoustie Country Gem.”

As the World Hickory Open 2013 came to a close, Lionel Freedman confirmed that the World Hickory Open will be returning to Carnoustie Country in 2014, when it will be held at Panmure Golf Course on 7-8 October, 2014. “At this year’s tournament, the courses were in excellent condition, the facilities were first rate and our 100 hickory golfers from across the globe were given a wonderful, warm welcome. We couldn’t possibly go anywhere else next year!”

To find out more about the World Hickory Open 2014, or to download an entry form, visit To find out more about Carnoustie Country and the Carnoustie Country Festival of Golf, visit 2013.

Caption: Paolo Quirici, winner of the World Hickory Open 2013.
Credit: Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


IMG, the world's leading sports, fashion and media company, for worldwide management and marketing representation, today announced it has acquired the Golf Business Forum and the Golf Business Community, widely regarded as the most established business to business network for professionals within the golf industry, from KPMG.

Golf has been the cornerstone of IMG since the legendary Arnold Palmer became IMG's first client in 1960, a moment widely credited as marking the creation of the sports marketing industry. The acquisition of these assets is a natural fit as IMG bring their industry-leading expertise and energy to the already established and respected Golf Business Forum (GBF) and Golf Business Community (GBC). IMG will continue to work with KPMG in an on going partnership in the years ahead on both projects.

The GBC is a platform for individuals within the golf industry who are interested in building and maintaining relationships, along with accessing golf research and golf industry news.  The GBF has been running since 2004 and serves as the platform for golf industry professionals to meet, learn and exchange ideas.

Bringing together the entire spectrum of the golf industry, the GBF has been attended by many of the leading names in golf including Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Sir Nick Faldo, Peter Dawson and George O'Grady . From developers and investors to operators, owners and journalists, the GBF attracts more than 250 delegates from over 40 nationalities. IMG plan to build on the success of the event by widening its global appeal and content whilst continuing to grow the extensive network of professionals focused around the game of golf.

The 2014 Golf Business Forum  will take place in Abu Dhabi at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa from 28- 30th April.

Andrea Sartori of KPMG explained, “We believe we have developed a fantastic product that benefits not only KPMG’s business but the whole golf industry. As with everything, we are always looking to improve our offering and we are sure that partnering with the industry leader, IMG, will help bring new life to the event and take both the Forum and Community to new levels.”

Nick Oakley, who will join IMG as part of the transition, said, “I am looking forward to joining IMG to help further develop the Golf Business Forum and continue to grow the Golf Business Community whilst working closely with my former colleagues at KPMG to ensure a smooth handover.”

Guy Kinnings, Global Head of Golf, IMG, who was a key speaker at the 2013 Golf Business Forum at St Andrews, added, “We are delighted to be acquiring  both the Golf Business Forum and the Community, and we are excited to work together with KPMG to enhance what is a flagship event in the world of golf. KPMG have developed a fantastic product which we feel we will be able to build and develop using our global resources and experience in the golf industry. “

About IMG
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with 3,500 employees operating in more than 30 countries around the globe. IMG's areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging:  IMG College; IMG's Joint Ventures in India, Brazil, China and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Golf and IMG Tennis; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing.  More information is available at  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About IMG Golf
IMG Golf is the market leader in the sport with 50 years of experience and now nearly 500 staff working in different aspects of the golf business worldwide. This involves talent representation where the business started and IMG now works with over 100 of the best male and female players from over 30 countries.  IMG owns, manages and stages more than 50 golf tournaments a year on every continent and on every Tour including Majors and World Golf Championships, along with special events and over 150 VIP golf days a year worldwide. IMG Golf is involved in every aspect of the game offering its partners a 360° fully integrated service and its core businesses include Media (with IMG Media in partnership with the European Tour and the Asian Tour via European Tour Productions and Asian Tour Media) and Golfing World as well as digital and social media, Golf Course Design and Management, Sales and Advisory Services, Corporate and Federation Consulting, Hospitality, Academies, Licensing, Publishing, Speakers, Broadcasters, Bid Consultancy, Corporate and Individual Brand Development. Golf was IMG's first sport and remains at the heart of IMG’s global business.

About KPMG
KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 156 countries and have more than 152,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

About the Golf Business Forum and Golf Business Community
Launched in 2004 by KPMG's Golf Advisory Practice in EMA, the Golf Business Forum is organized at a different stunning venue in a new, exciting location, each year. It has been hosted in Budapest, Prague, Cyprus, Ireland, Wales, Turkey, Dubai then Italy - and in 2013 St Andrews, Scotland hosted the 10th anniversary forum. Over the last decade, the Forum has grown from a regional conference to a world-leading golf industry event, attracting more than 250 delegates including developers, investors, operators, owners and journalists from over 40 countries.

The Golf Business Community (GBC) is a platform for individuals within the golf industry who are interested in building and maintaining relationships, and accessing golf research and golf industry news.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

United Airlines to offer new service between Edinburgh and Chicago

The only non-stop flight linking Edinburgh with Chicago has been announced for next summer. The flights between Edinburgh and Chicago start from 23 May.
The route will be operated by United Airlines.

It will operate five times weekly from 23 May to 12 June, daily from 13 June to 2 September and four times weekly between 3 September and 6 October.

Flight times will be eight hours 35 minutes westbound and seven hours 45 minutes eastbound.

The Edinburgh-Chicago flight will depart Edinburgh at 10:25, arriving in Chicago at 13:00 the same day.

The return flight will depart Chicago at 18:00, arriving in Edinburgh at 07:45 the following day.
Home town
Bob Schumacher, United Airlines' managing director sales for the UK and Ireland, said: "Having recently celebrated 15 years of operations in Scotland, we're delighted to expand our schedule with seasonal non-stop service to Chicago, United's home town.

"Next year's Homecoming promotion and Ryder Cup at Gleneagles make it the ideal time to launch these flights, which will offer our customers an increased range of travel choices and opportunities."

First Minister Alex Salmond said: "By improving direct routes overseas, we can help reduce the need for travellers to make extra connecting flights via London or the continent, support tourism, trade and investment and so further strengthen Scotland's economy.

"The eyes of the world will be on Scotland in 2014 and, as we host international sporting stars at the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup and celebrate another Year of Homecoming, we hope to welcome visitors from across the world, not least from the United States with whom we share strong and enduring bonds."

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said the new route was "a fantastic validation of Edinburgh and Scotland as a whole".

He said: "We are delighted to have played our part in developing this route with the other agencies and government departments that make up Team Scotland.

"This collaborative approach works and we look forward to bringing many more international routes to Edinburgh in the coming months."

New tourism campaign to make Scotland world's top golf destination

A new tourism campaign is aiming to capitalise on the staging of the Ryder Cup and The Open Championship to make Scotland the world's leading golf destination.

Earlier this year a report estimated that tourism around the sport generates £220m a year and the new Driving Scotland Together strategy aims to increase this to £300m by 2020.

The Ryder Cup is being held at Gleneagles in Perthshire next year and The Open will be played at St Andrews in 2015 and in Troon the following year.

The tourism campaign, which includes VisitScotland, EventScotland and the Scottish Golf Union, aims to promote and develop other courses and regions around the major events to encourage tourists who come for the big tournaments to return again.

Golf is said to have started around 500 years ago on coastal land around the country and Scotland has some of the most famous courses in the world among its nearly 600 clubs, including St Andrews, Muirfield and Turnberry, but it has been rivalled in recent years by the US.

Stewart Walker, chairman of industry body Golf Tourism Scotland, which is also involved in the campaign, said: "There is no doubt that the golf tourism industry in Scotland already has the greatest collection of assets anywhere in the world as well as an enviable history and heritage in the game.

"What this strategy is designed to achieve is ensuring all partners involved in growing the golf tourism industry are working together in order to sell and market Scotland as the home of golf to its full potential.

"Each partner involved in the strategy brings an area of expertise to the table and together we can ensure that Scotland is known as the must-visit golf destination in the world and grow the value of the industry to the economy of Scotland."

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: "Golf in Scotland has never been more in the spotlight thanks to an envied schedule of world-class events taking place at the home of golf.

"These events are played on many of the world's top-ranked golf courses but Scotland also has many hidden gems too, giving golfers of all levels a variety of courses to play.

"These events, including the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, bring with them a terrific opportunity to highlight Scotland to hundreds of millions of potential visitors worldwide and to grow what is already a hugely important sector in terms of income generation for Scotland.

"The collaborative approach between various organisations in pulling this strategy together is exactly what Scotland's golf tourism sector requires and demonstrates that we are all working towards one single aim: to make Scotland the must-visit destination for every golfer."

The campaign is part of a plan to create a legacy for the tourism industry out of next year's Ryder Cup.

Download your copy of the strategy using the link below:-

Friday, September 6, 2013

Join Team Scotland at The PGA Merchandise Show 2014

Here is a summary of the activities included in Team Scotland Partner Package for 2014:-

Scotland Golf Day, 10th Anniversary - Tuesday, 21st January
Each registered partner company is guaranteed a space at this very popular event and will be given the opportunity to invite two additional guests of your own choice or with the help of GTS. Golf will be followed by a networking BBQ lunch at the prestigious AAA Four-Diamond Grand Cypress Golf Resort in Orlando.

PGA Merchandise Show - Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, 22nd – 24th January
Team Scotland come together on stand at the Orange County Convention Centre. Partners will have their own dedicated and branded area on stand from which to network and promote their business or product. Our dedicated 1,200 square feet stand, located within the Travel Pavilion, is 70% larger than in 2013!

Scotland Shindig - Date and venue TBC
Following on from the success of previous get-togethers, including our very successful Burns Supper in 2013, we will once again host our popular Scotland Shindig. This is the perfect opportunity for stand partners to network in an informal social environment.
 Funding is available... Join Team Scotland and claim your UKTI grant of £2,000!!
Once again UKTI is offering support to UK based Team Scotland partners in the form of a grant worth £2,000! If you are interested in obtaining a grant and for further information, please contact Ciara Morgan of Sports and Play by email. Places are limited so be quick. Please note: You must register and be confirmed as a partner with GTS prior to making your application. Confirmed stand partners agree to GTS Terms and conditions.

Download UKTI T&Cs

Team Scotland places are limited... BOOK NOW!

The costs to attend the PGA Merchandise Show 2014 and be part of the team Scotland presence in Orlando are listed below. Non-members will be subject to an administration charge which is stated below. This is included as part of the annual fee for GTS Members. If you would like more information or to join GTS, please contact Scott Abercrombie, or call +44 (0)1786 459224, 9am - 5pm UK time. Mon – Fri.

Team Scotland Package
COST (Excluding VAT)
DEPOSIT (Including VAT)
Due on submission of sign up form
Partner Fee
Admin Fee
GTS Member

To book your space before it’s too late, complete the attached event sign up form. You will be required to pay a 50% deposit on submission as shown above, only once your payment has been processed will your space be confirmed. Please see the sign up form and GTS Event T&C’s for more information.

We anticipate a huge demand for space and urge you to book up now. More information will be released in due course, if you would like to discuss this opportunity please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Launch of the Scottish Golf Tourism Strategy 2013 - 2020

With just one week to go the Team Scotland golf partners, Golf Tourism Scotland, VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise, HIE the SGU / SLGA and with the support of the PGA in Scotland, would once again like to invite you to join us for the launch of the Scottish Golf Tourism Development Strategy 2013 - 2020, "Driving Forward Together" at Murrayshall House Hotel and Golf Courses next Thursday 12th September 2013.

"Driving Forward Together" is the first national golf tourism strategy and has been developed by both the golf tourism industry and the public sector working in partnership for the benefit of golf tourism businesses in Scotland.

Golf Tourism is a tourism sector that is acknowledged to deliver growth and jobs, the combined value of Golf Tourism to Scotland is £220 million and it is estimated that this could grow to over £300 million by 2020. It is an industry in which Scotland competes well internationally. KPMG Golf Travel Insights 2013 ranked Scotland third in the world in terms of future golfing tourism hotspots.

But to continue to be a contender in this fiercely competitive global marketplace we need to ensure that we are all aligned behind a common ambition. A key strand to the strategy is unifying the golf tourism sector in a Team Scotland approach and modernising the approach taken by many businesses to marketing, promotion and customer service.

We do hope you can join us at the launch event to continue the discussion about what we can do together to ensure that ambition for growth and Scotland "to be the world's leading golfing destination by 2020" is achieved.
Thursday 12 September

Murrayshall House Hotel & Golf Courses
Scone, Perth


12.30 - 01.00 
01.00 - 02.00
Networking lunch
Strategy Launch
02.30 - 16.00
Capitalising on the Ryder Cup to achieve Sustainable Growth in 2015 and beyond - International Association of Golf Tour Operators
Event close
GTS Networking

To confirm your attendance at the Strategy Launch,
telephone 0845 607 8787 as soon as possible or book online:-

GTS Annual General Meeting
GTS members are invited to confirm their attendance at the AGM by email to

Non-members are invited to attend the GTS AGM as observers.