‘We could have sold out the event twice’

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick October 21, 2021 10:46

Hit by both Storm Frank in the winter of 2015/16 and Covid last year, four Aberdeenshire golf clubs this year joined forces to run a rebranded event, which they secured external funding to market, and it proved to be a hit.

The RDGW, formerly known as ‘The Royal Deeside Golf Classic’, was established in 2003 to attract golfers to the four golf clubs – Aboyne, Banchory, Ballater and Braemar – that make up the Royal Deeside area. The format sees around 160 golfers from across the UK playing each of the four Aberdeenshire venues, over a Stableford competition.

Last year the event, like so many others, was cancelled due to Covid, but this year it went ahead thanks to marketing funding from tourism body Visit Scotland, with a new name and a sell-out field.

RDGW co-ordinator Nigel Bradburn said: “We are delighted to have successfully relaunched the RDGW with the help of Visit Scotland as part of the economic regeneration of the Deeside area.

“In recent years the tournament has been substantially impacted by the ravages of ‘Storm Frank’ and the resulting flooding in Ballater. In addition, tourism on Royal Deeside has been severely affected by the pandemic and it was recognised that attracting golfers to the area forms a crucial part of the wider economic recovery programme as the retail and hospitality sector benefit from the influx of visitors here for the golf week and during the playing season.

“With some highly targeted strategic marketing, we were able to sell out the event in just five days of launch in early February. It is great to see a new and diverse group of players from all parts of the UK coming to sample golf on beautiful Royal Deeside for the first time.

“A sizable ‘waiting list’ meant we could have sold out the event twice over this year. In addition, we have a large list of golfers who have pre-registered for the 2022 event. We will scale up the RDGW in 2022 and subsequent years if there is additional demand for playing places.”

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland’s regional director for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, added: “This is a fabulous initiative with the four golf clubs working together to showcase not only the great golf courses situated on Royal Deeside but the wonderful accommodation options and other tourism attractions. There is pent up demand for first-class experiences in Scotland and it is clear the RDGW is a hugely popular initiative.”

Playing off a 13 handicap, winner of the men’s competition was Kenny Irvine (pictured) of Dumfries & Galloway Golf Club, who posted an aggregate of 153 to win by four points in the 114-strong field. Winner among the 46 ladies vying for their title was newcomer Julie Baird of West Linton Golf Club (pictured), with a score of 148 playing off a handicap of 14.

 

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick October 21, 2021 10:46
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