Budding junior golfers can benefit from free golf and access to free golf equipment as part of an innovative partnership between The 2019 Solheim Cup and Golf Perthshire in a bid to make Perth & Kinross the most family-friendly golf destination in the world.
More than 80 sets of junior golf equipment have been purchased by Golf Perthshire and distributed to all 26 golf clubs across the region thanks to a £10,000 grant from The 2019 Solheim Cup Golf Development Programme with the aim of encouraging more young people into the sport.
In addition, the majority of golf clubs across Perth & Kinross have signed up to Golf Perthshire’s scheme to offer free golf to people under the age of 18 with a paying adult with the remainder introducing affordable family golf passes.
The move comes as Scotland prepares to host The 2019 Solheim Cup, the biggest event in women’s golf, from 9-15 September at Gleneagles where the best female golfers from Europe will take on their American counterparts in a format which mirrors that of The Ryder Cup.
Backed by The Scottish Government, The 2019 Solheim Cup will deliver a multitude of benefits to Scotland including huge international media profile and promotion of equality across both sport and society, as well as supporting programmes to encourage more women and young people to take up the game.
Making the announcement during Golf & Health Week from 15-19 April, Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, said: “This is a terrific initiative by Golf Perthshire to promote the region as a world-leading family golf destination and I’m delighted that The 2019 Solheim Cup can support this project. Removing barriers to entry is key to encouraging participation in any sport or activity so offering free access to golf courses and free use of junior golf equipment opens the door for young people and families to engage in the sport, many of whom we hope will be inspired by hosting a world-class event on their own doorstep in September.”
Golf tourism is worth in excess of £19 million annually to the Perth & Kinross economy, supporting more than 520 jobs with the region being renowned as a popular family destination. The region already outperforms the rest of Scotland when it comes to the proportion of female golfing visitors (20% compared to the national average of 12%) and it is hoped this initiative will encourage more women and families to travel to Perth & Kinross to play golf.
Allan Minto, Project Manager for Golf Perthshire, added: “As well as being a great way to encourage greater participation in golf by young people who live in Perth & Kinross, this initiative will help achieve our ambition of being the most family-friendly golf destination anywhere in the world. Perth & Kinross is already hugely popular with general family holidaymakers and we hope this initiative will encourage visitors to try golf alongside some of the other popular outdoor pursuits on offer.
“With a great mix of shorter 9-hole courses and world-renowned championship courses, Perth & Kinross has the assets to cater for any level of golfer from beginner to expert. We’re delighted to have the support of The 2019 Solheim Cup and are excited to see so many golf fans coming to the region in September to watch the matches, hopefully being inspired to also experience our wonderful golf offering for themselves.”
In addition to the Golf Perthshire junior golf equipment initiative, The 2019 Solheim Cup Golf Development Programme has also supported other projects including the joint-funding of Scottish Golf’s Women & Young People Development Manager post alongside The R&A and the introduction of a joint fund to support aspiring young Scottish golfers in their bid to qualify for the PING Junior Solheim Cup.
The Scottish Government’s aspiration is that The 2019 Solheim Cup is the biggest ever European edition of the event and the most family-focused golf event in history with around 100,000 spectators expected at Gleneagles. Tickets are priced from just £10 for adults with children under-16 admitted free of charge while there will also be a host of family-friendly activities such as a family fun zone, a golf activity zone and live music and entertainment. For more information and to buy tickets visit www.solheimcup2019.com
Notes to Editors
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
Scotland’s Themed Years
- Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years will now take place every second year to enable more time for planning and opportunities for collaboration.
- 2020 has been designated as a year in which Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be showcased and celebrated with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors.
- The year, led by VisitScotland will sustain and build upon the momentum of Scotland’s preceding Themed Years to spotlight, celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors.
- A year-long programme of events, activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink – whisky.
- Join the conversation using #YCW2020
- 2022 will be the Year of Scotland’s Stories - a celebration of our rich literature, film, oral traditions and myths and legends.