English Golf Courses

Open worth £110m to Scotland

2016 championship at Royal Troon delivered huge economic benefits to the Home of Golf

By Michael McEwan

The 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon delivered more than £110, worth of benefit to Scotland, according to an independent study announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The Open, which attracted 173,000 spectators to the Ayrshire coastline in 2016, delivered an economic impact of more than £64,m according to the study compiled by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre.

In addition, the country benefited from an additional £46m in destination marketing benefit thanks to the exposure afforded to Scotland from  the Championship, which was  broadcast on television in 193 territories to more than 600m households worldwide.


The research, which was commissioned by the R&A, VisitScotland and South Ayrshire Council, concluded that Ayrshire alone benefited from spending by event specific visitors and on event infrastructure amounting to £23m in economic impact.

Almost half of the spectators who attended the Open travelled from outwith Scotland, while two-thirds  of Scots spectators came from  outside Ayrshire. An impressive 62%  of non-Ayrshire residents indicated  they would return to South Ayrshire for a break within 12 months.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who attended the championship, said: “Hosting the Open is a chance to see one of the world’s most popular sports return to the country where it all started, so these are brilliant figures which highlight the huge economic benefit that bringing home such a prestigious championship has for Scotland.”

Martin Slumbers, the chief executive of the R&A, added: “The Open is one of the world’s great sporting events and generates substantial economic benefit for the host country.


“We were delighted with the success of the championship at Royal Troon which delivered tremendous entertainment  for the tens of thousands of fans who came along to see the world’s top golfers competing.

“Henrik Stenson’s victory after such a gripping duel with Phil Mickelson was one of the finest performances in the long history of the Open.” 

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