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New app aims to get golf tourism in the swing


By Alan Beresford

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DOMESTIC golf tourism could get a boost in Scotland through an app designed to increase participation and make the game more inclusive.

The new app will allow players to book games and check their handicap progress.
The new app will allow players to book games and check their handicap progress.

Golfers can now book tee times online and get an Open Playhandicap by downloading the Scottish Golf app and registering for an account.

The game’s governing body for golf in Scotland and the National Tourism Organisation believe providing a digital pay as you go option for having a handicap can appeal to groups of people interested in golf, but not actively engaged with regular participation currently.

Making it easier to arrange a game can improve access to golf for those who split their leisure time around work, family time or competing interests.

Players will be able to check their progress through having a handicap, without the requirement to enter competitions and be able to test their ability over different courses to suit their budget.

Increasing online bookings at courses across the country can bring additional visitor revenue to golf venues as well as nearby accommodation and hospitality through the visitor economy. It can also provide a gateway for the next generation of people accessing the game.

Alan Grant, senior golf manager, EventScotland said: “Golf tourism is a significant contributor to the Scottish economy and with golf tourists, on average, spending a further £5 elsewhere in the visitor economy for every £1 spent on a green fee it can have a big impact on our economic recovery from the pandemic.

“While Scotland is renowned around the world as the home of golf, the pandemic has also encouraged those closer to home to rediscover the world-class golf tourism offering available on their own doorstep.

“As well as providing income for golf-related businesses and sustaining jobs, there are many social benefits as well. Golf is a fun way to improve health and well-being by spending time with others in open green spaces. By utilising new digital channels we can remove more perceived barriers to playing golf, allowing more people to enjoy the game and support our golf tourism businesses, not only increasing visitor rounds but providing additional pathways to membership.”

Karin Sharp, chief operating officer, Scottish Golf, added “OpenPlay provides a modern, flexible approach for golfers that will make the sport more accessible and inclusive.

"It is a great opportunity for golf clubs across Scotland to market themselves to a whole new group of golfers and create a pathway into club membership.”

Through June a social media and native advertising campaign targeted at Scots golfers will promote the app across Facebook, Instagram and Teads’ publishers such as Reuters and Sports Illustrated.

A recent report published by The R&A found that golf participation has increased by 2.3 million adults in Great Britain and Ireland in 2020, outlining the increased potential for golf tourism, which already contributes £286 million annually to the Scottish economy.

For more information, visit Scottish Golf.


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