Value of Scottish golf is double fishing’s5th July, 2013 by Tania Longmire
The Scottish golf industry is now worth more than a third of all of its alcohol industries, according to new data.
According to the Value of Golf to Scotland’s Economy report, conducted by KPMG in association with Oxford Economics, golf directly contributes £496 million a year towards Scotland’s gross domestic product (GDP). This is about a third of all of its alcohol industries, including whisky, and is nearly double the amount fishing brings in.
This also excludes the economic boost of about £70 million the country gets whenever a Scottish club hosts the Open – which is the case in 2013.
The industry’s strength, which has been knocked by the economic downturn, is partly due to green fees being paid by non-Scottish people, who make up about a third of all revenue to clubs from visiting golfers. More than half of these foreign visitors are from other parts of the UK.
The industry employs more than 20,000 people in Scotland – approximately double the number employed by renewable energy organisations.
The research found that there are 597 golf courses in Scotland run by over 600 golf venues, including driving ranges and adventure golf locations. Together, they employ more than 12,300 people and generate £582 million in revenue each year, although each typically spends £44K to £55K per year on course machinery, with larger venues spending up to £120K per year on equipment.
KPMG also found that there are at least eight golf course projects currently in the planning and development phases.
Hamish Grey, CEO of the Scottish Golf Union, said: “Scottish golf clubs are continuing to operate in challenging conditions, particularly in terms of finance and climate, and the Scottish Golf Union are providing our affiliated clubs with increased support, guidance and help with future business planning to ensure we have stronger clubs in the future to take advantage of the money spent in the industry.
“Our collective challenge is to work together to build on the evidence base from this report and ensure that future generations of Scots benefit from this great game and the related industry.
“This report clearly demonstrates the significant value of golf to Scotland’s economy. Comparing it to other industries, we can now see for the first time that for example golf’s direct contribution to GDP is 89 percent that of fishing and fish farming, and 83 percent of air transport.
“A related and complementary study of the social impact of golf in Scotland is being developed concurrently and will be finalised later this summer.”
Dr Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, added: “Golf is a hugely important contributor to the economy of Scotland, and tourism in particular. With a number of major golf events on the horizon in Scotland, it was important to understand the scale of the industry as a whole in order that we continue to build and grow the industry in future.”