Golf in Scotland Now a £1 Billion Industry, New Study Finds

Golf in Scotland is now a £1 billion industry according to reports by KPMG

Branden Grace

Golf in Scotland is now a £1 billion industry, according to new research conducted by KPMG in association with Oxford Economics.  

The ‘Value of Golf to Scotland's Economy' report, commissioned by the Scottish Golf Union in conjunction with VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise, was published at the KPMG Golf Business Forum in St Andrews.  

It was found that the industry generates £1.171 billion in revenues. With more than 20,000 people employed in golf in Scotland, one in every 125 jobs are dependent on golf, creating wage payments of £300 million.

While Scotland is widely considered as ‘The Home of Golf', it is the first time the value of golf for the country has been measured.

Andrea Sartori, Head of KPMG's Golf Advisory Practice, said: "While Scotland is the Home of Golf and there has always been an understanding that the sport produces economic benefits for the country, this research will empower decision makers and help them make policy and investment decisions accordingly."

Hamish Grey, CEO of the Scottish Golf Union, added: "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% that of fishing and fish farming, and 83% of air transport.

"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."

With The Open Championship at Muirfield on the horizon, the R&A forecasts an economic benefit of approximately £70 million to the East Lothian and Edinburgh region, which will add to the £496 million that golf directly contributes to Scotland's GDP.  

A related and complementary study of the social impact of golf in Scotland is being developed concurrently and will be finalised later this summer.

Freelance Writer

Lewis was a freelance writer for Golf Monthly in 2013.