Scotland confirmed its No. 1 status by taking the top prize of ‘Destination of the Year’ in the annual industry awards held by Britain’s best-selling magazine Today’s Golfer beating the Algarve (Portugal) into second place and Ireland into third.
The significant accolade was announced as Scotland launched Homecoming Scotland 2009 – a celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, Scotland's National Poet, which is being marked with a programme of over 300 events on the themes of Burns, golf, whisky, ancestry and great Scottish minds.
"I am delighted to learn that Scotland has been awarded the Best Golf Destination of the Year award in such a prestigious magazine as Today’s Golfer," said Malcolm Roughead, OBE, Director of Visitor Engagement at VisitScotland. "Scotland is the Home of Golf and it provides golfers with the ultimate golfing experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. With the return of The Open Championship to Turnberry this year in July it is extremely important for us to capitalize on the opportunity this presents to promote Scotland as the No. 1 golfing destination."
With over 550 golf courses across the country, Scotland has courses to suit all types of players from championship layouts to links courses, beautiful parklands and memorable hidden gems. Accommodation ranges from cosy family-run B&Bs to luxury 5* hotel resorts and VisitScotland offers a number of accommodation deals and golf packages to ensure all budgets are catered for.
To learn more about Scotland and its special place in history as the Home of Golf, VisitScotland’s golf ambassador Sam Torrance has created a special website http://samsscotland.visitscotland.com detailing his top tips for creating the best golfing break including his favourite holes, great value deals and who he thinks will pick up silverware in 2009.
Golf in Scotland was first recorded in the 15th century, and the modern game of golf was first developed and established in the country. The game plays a key role in the national sporting consciousness. The R&A, based at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, is the world governing body for the game (except in the United States and Mexico), and to many golfers the Old Course, an ancient links course dating to before 1574, is considered to be a site of pilgrimage. The world's first Open Championship was held at Prestwick in 1860, and Scots golfers have the most victories at the Open at 42 wins, one ahead of the United States.
Although golf is often seen as an elitist sport elsewhere in the world, in the land of its birth it enjoys widespread appeal throughout the spectrum of society, in line with the country's egalitarian tradition. For example, the Old Course at St Andrew's and Musselburgh Links (which claims to be the oldest golf course in the world in continuous use) are public courses. Council-owned courses, with low fees and easy access, are common throughout the country wherever demography and geography allow. Wikipedia.org
Scotland is widely promoted as the 'Home of Golf', and along with whisky and the long list of Scottish inventions and discoveries, golf is widely seen as being a key national cultural icon throughout the world. It is frequently used to market the country to potential visitors, for example for the Homecoming year in 2009, and golf tourism accounted for approximately 2% of overall Scottish tourism spending in 2004. Wikipedia.org