Thousands of golf enthusiasts will pack into “fan zones” in city centres across Scotland as the Ryder Cup 2014 opens in Perthshire.
After the success of the Commonwealth Games “live zones” in Glasgow, the areas will ensure that the entire nation has the chance to feel part of the action.
The build-up to the Ryder Cup began in earnest after the US team jetted into Scotland and the captains posed with the trophy at Gleneagles Hotel.
The official sites are being set up in Glasgow’s Merchant Square, in Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square and within the plaza at Perth Concert Hall.
From there fans will be able to soak up the excitement and drama from Gleneagles as Europe’s stars bid to see off the challenge of the USA once again and retain the title won at Medinah.
The zones aim to ensure that visitors receive “that all important Scottish welcome” and provide Scots of all ages with a memorable experience of one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
Alongside live coverage on giant screens, there will also be photo booths, putting greens and simulators so visitors can immerse themselves in golf.
Details of the fan zones were unveiled as it was revealed tourism chiefs are using the event as the centrepiece of one of their biggest ever marketing campaigns.
VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay said that £2 million is being spent on using the golf event to sell the nation to the world.
The effort aims to reinforce Scotland’s place as the home of golf, improve the experience of spectators making their way to Perthshire and boost tourism.
An unprecedented number of viewers across the globe will see stunning images of Perthshire beamed onto their television screens as the cup battle begins on Friday.
VisitScotland’s single largest outdoor marketing campaign to date has seen £220,000 spent on reaching an estimated £250,000 spectators as they make their way to Gleneagles, whether through airports and stations, on the road or on trains.
A further £500,000 has been invested in reaching as many as £10 million potential visitors in the UK and Ireland and another £250k has been spent on golf marketing in the key areas of North America, Sweden and Germany.
The largest part of that sum has been spent in the last few months to coincide with the screening of the 2014 Ryder Cup.
Organisers believe it has the potential to reach a television audience of over half a billion an unprecedented opportunity to highlight what Scotland has to offer.
Mr Cantlay said: “Golf tourism is worth over £220 million to the Scottish economy, so is always a big priority for our marketing teams, but in the build-up to the Ryder Cup, this activity has been intensified.
“With the biggest outdoor advertising campaign in our history and an ambitious worldwide marketing strategy, the Ryder Cup has enabled us to firmly cement Scotland as the home of golf.
“It’s great to see that those who are unable to attend the event will be able to sample the excitement, drama and atmosphere at one of the fan zones.
“With thousands of ticket holders and media staying across Scotland during the week, this will provide that all important warm Scottish welcome. The buzz of the fan zone will reflect the excitement felt right across the country as we prepare to host the best ever Ryder Cup.”