|18 January 2016|

Last year’s Open golf championship in St Andrews brought record-breaking economic benefits to Scotland, according to an independent economic impact assessment.

The 2015 Open Championship benefitted the economy to the tune of £140 million – the largest amount ever achieved by a golf event in the United Kingdom or Ireland.

The study, commissioned by the R&A, reveals spending by visitors to Scotland for the tournament generated £88 million – nearly double the £47.5 million in visitor impact achieved in 2010 when the event was last held at the Old Course.

Another £52 million in marketing benefit was realised thanks to the exposure St Andrews and Scotland got from being broadcast to more than 500 million households worldwide, according to separate research carried out by Kantar Media Sport Intelligence.

The economic impact assessment, carried out by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre, estimates that Fife alone made £52 million from the sporting showcase.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We all know that golf and its origins are synonymous with Scotland but these excellent figures show that the connection between the game and its spiritual home is as strong and productive as ever.

“It is always a special homecoming for players and spectators alike when The Open returns to the Old Course – they have the opportunity to experience not only one of the finest courses in the world, but also take in such a stunning setting on the Fife coast.

“Hosting such events is a tremendous opportunity to showcase Scotland internationally as the perfect stage for events as well as generating spend for local businesses, restaurants and hotels, and the wider Scottish economy.”