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Visit Scotland | Alba


On this page you will find two key pieces of research:

  • Scottish Golf Tourism and Visitor Strategy 2022 - 2030. Led by the Scottish Golf Tourism Development Group (SGTDG), this is an overview of the golf tourism market and the future of the industry.
  • Scotland Golf Visitor Survey 2016. VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise commissioned comprehensive research with golf visitors in 2016. The research included face to face interviews and an online survey.

1. Scottish Golf Tourism and Visitor Strategy 2022 – 2030

The strategy was developed to help shape and support the future of the industry from 2022 to 2030. The Scottish Golf Tourism Development Group (SGTDG), in consultation with the golf tourism industry, took the lead on this.

It includes an overview of the golf tourism market, a SWOT analysis of Scottish golf and case studies.

Read the full strategy on

2. Average spend on golf trips in Scotland


Average spend per day trip visitor


Average spend per overnight visitor


Average spend by overseas visitor

Source: Scotland Golf Visitor Survey, 2016.

3. Scotland Golf Visitor Survey 2016 - Executive Summary

  • Typically golf visitors to Scotland are enthusiastic and skilled golfers. 79% played at least once a week, while 85% were a golf club member. More than four fifths (83%) reported having a handicap, with the average for the whole sample being 13.5.
  • For over three quarters (79%) of overnight visitors, golf was the main purpose of their trip.
  • The age profile of golf visitors is skewed to the older age groups. Over three quarters of golf visitors were aged 45+, with the 55-64 age range accounting for almost a third (32%).
  • Across all golf visitors (including day and overnight visitors), approximately two thirds were from the UK and one third was from overseas. However, amongst overnight visitors there was a more equal split between domestic (53%) and overseas visitors (47%). 
  • Half of all visitors (50%) lived in Scotland and almost a further fifth (19%) lived in the rest of the UK.
  • By far the largest of the overseas markets was the USA, which accounts for 17% of visitors overall and 27% of overnight visitors. 

Scottish Golf Visitor Survey and economic impact 2016 - full report

Published March 2017

Scotland Golf Visitor Survey and economic impact 2016 - executive summary

Published April 2017

4. Methodology

Scottish Enterprise and we commissioned the research with golf visitors in 2016. This was to support the work of the Golf Tourism Development Group. The Golf Visitor Survey was undertaken by Progressive Partnership Ltd. The Economic Impact Report was undertaken by SQW.

A mixed method approach was used to gather the research data. The visitor survey incorporated face-to-face interviews at golf courses (1,412 interviews).

The survey also included short "profile card" questionnaires distributed at golf courses (1,118 cards returned). Lastly, there was an online survey (590 responses). All fieldwork was conducted between May and November 2016.

Golf courses were selected to provide representation across the 10 key golf regions in Scotland. There was also a spread of Tier 1, 2 and 3 courses. The final data set was weighted to ensure it was representative of golf visitors across Scotland.

Weighting factors were based on region, month and country of origin of visitor. Further detail is available to download within the full report.

Additional golf research

Related links