St Andrews and the surrounding area is gearing up to reap the rewards as the iconic Old Course plays host to the Senior Open for the first time in the championship’s 32-year history.
Thousands of spectators will be hoping the warm and dry weather continues over the next four days as some of the world’s greatest senior golfers return to the Home of Golf.
The Fife coast was given an estimated £13 milion boost when nearby Kingsbarns hosted the Ricoh’s Women’s Open almost a year ago, and local businesses are expecting visitor numbers to be on a par.
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the The R&A, said: “There have been many great championships held at St Andrews over the years and it is entirely fitting that the Senior Open should be played at the Home of Golf.
“We know that the galleries in St Andrews are passionate about golf and I’m sure they will turn out in strong numbers to see so many renowned senior players competing.
“It promises to be another wonderful event for golf fans in Scotland.”
Golf tourism is said to be worth around £286 million annually to Scotland’s economy, according to VisitScotland, with 47% of visitors coming from overseas.
It is hoped hundreds of tourists in the area for The Open at Carnoustie have stayed to see if Bernard Langer can defend the title he won in 2017.
Police have warned members of the public to plan ahead as local roads will be busier than normal.
Chief Inspector Steven Hamilton, Police Scotland’s gold commander for the event, said: “It will be busy in and around the streets of St Andrews so please follow the signs that are in and around all the roadways surrounding the event.
“But I would suggest that if you can use public transport then please do. The trains run regularly to and from nearby Leuchars and there are bus which you can get for roughly £2.75.
“There are car parks but please do follow the signs.
“My police officers here on the days of the event will be very visible so please, if you see them, speak to them – they are here to help you in any way they possibly can.
“If you see anything suspicious or have any concerns, don’t ignore it, please contact my police officers and make sure you make them aware.
“It’s an excellent event in an excellent, iconic, place, and I welcome every visitor to the event. I’m sure you will have an enjoyable time.”
Police have urged motorists to follow the designated AA signage which has been put in place to assist with traffic flow.
Public parking is free and is located at The Balgove Public Car Park.
The closest train station is Leuchars and various Stagecoach services, such as the 99, 99A, 99B, 99C and 99D, run approximately every 10 minutes each way.