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.