An unprecedented run of events at the Home of Golf was the key talking point at The National Golf Forum organised by Golf Tourism Scotland (GTS) today. With representatives from across Scotland's golf sector, including Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise & Tourism, the summit provided an important opportunity to examine the opportunities offered by the upcoming Ryder Cup and Open Championships.
Held at Dalmahoy Golf and Country Club, The National Golf Forum was a much-anticipated event for the golf industry. Not surprisingly, this year's summit was dominated by the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles with key speakers suggesting Scottish businesses were facing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. As GTS chairman Lee Derrick noted, the forum was a chance to formulate ideas to capitalise on the world's highest-profile golfing event.
"This year's National Golf Forum was conceived as a platform to share ideas about Scotland's preparations for the Ryder Cup," he said. "This, after all, is a unique opportunity for Scotland, and we felt it was important to bring the industry together to generate new plans and initiatives. Following a fascinating and productive day, I think the delegates will leave with a kitbag of ideas they can initiate straight away."
As well as the Ryder Cup, Scotland will also be hosting three Open Championships in the next four years as well as the Ricoh Women's British Open. Not surprisingly, this impressive sequence prompted much discussion amongst the delegates at the all-day forum.
"I think everyone appreciates the significance of the next few years," said Derrick. "The GTS National Golf Forum was an excellent way of bringing people together to discuss what lies ahead and to debate what we can do collectively to maximise the benefits to Scotland."
The impressive line-up of speakers included the Minister for Energy, Enterprise & Tourism, who discussed the importance of golf to Scottish tourism and what could be done to ensure better co-ordination of marketing activities before, during and after the Ryder Cup. In a similar vain John Parker, director of Ryder Cup Travel Services, outlined specific opportunities surrounding the tournament for golf businesses.
"The speakers were asked to consider ways of bringing together the numerous strands of our industry and to encourage a co-operative approach," noted Derrick. "Without fail, the speakers did exactly that and, more importantly, provided practical advice that will help Scotland get the most out of the next four years."
The National Golf Forum took place on July 3 and was open to members and non-members of GTS.