While it remains to be seen if England will host the World Cup in Qatar next month football, neighboring Scotland has officially returned to its homeland.
After hosting the game for nearly six centuries, the “home of golf”, as Scotland is called, was recognized this week as the World’s Best Golf Destination at the ninth edition of the World Golf Awards in Abu Dhabi.
Despite its dominance of the St. Andrews Old Course, the World’s Best golf course category – which has won five consecutive times since its inception – Scotland was never recognized as the best destination for the sport.
Portugal held the title in the first five years of the award. Then, Australia won the title. This was before wins for Vietnam and Australia in 2019-2021.
After a remarkable year in which Scottish links courses hosted two historic majors – the 150th Open Championship held at St. Andrews, and the first-ever Women’s Open played at Muirfield – the country was awarded the prize as well as the Best Golf Destination award in Europe.
Scotland was the only European nominee for the World award. It trumped all other contenders like Australia, Canada, and Dubai.
According to Visit Scotland, the golf industry in Scotland is worth more than $1.3 billion (PS1.1 trillion). The annual golf tourism market brings in $339 million (PS286 million) and supports over 4,000 jobs.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of Visit Scotland, stated that the awards were a fitting way to end an extra special year of golf in Scotland. They also provide a great recognition of all those who have worked so hard to make Scotland The Home of Golf.
“Golf tourism provides a significant boost to the economy and elevates Scotland’s profile in the international arena.”
The fabled Alfred Dunhill Links Championship was held in October. Celebrities and professionals alike toured around St. Andrews and Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, and Kingsbarns. These three link courses are the most popular in Scotland and help to attract nearly 220,000 golfers annually, according to Visit Scotland.
“Scottish tourism is thriving and Scotland is a bucket-list destination for many golfers around the World,” said Dermot Synnott Director of Global Partnership for World Golf Awards.
It offers many links and parkland options in all regions. This makes it a great place to play golf.
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Long Island, New York was voted the World’s Best Golf Course. This is a continuation of a strong American run that began with back-to-back victories for Augusta National.
JA The Resort Golf Course, Dubai was awarded Best Nine Hole Golf Course. Costa Navarino in Greece was named the World’s Best Emerging Golf Destination.