“If we didn’t have the American golfers, we probably wouldn’t be here”

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 17, 2024 10:50

A senior director at one of Scotland’s top golf resorts has said that Americans account for more than half of business at top-end courses and hotels in Scotland during the key summer season.

“They will spend more in the retail shop, they will spend more in the restaurants and they will spend more in the bar,” said Nic Oldham, director of sales and marketing at Trump Turnberry told Herald Scotland. “I would say it’s probably at least 25 percent more.

“To be honest, if we didn’t have the American golfers, we probably wouldn’t be here.”
Oldham said between 40 and 50 percent of guests throughout the year at Trump Turnberry are directly attributable to golf, and they generate about 60 to 70 percent of annual revenues.

“The UK could not support the market,” he added. “The quality of the golf courses, the money we invest in the golf courses across Scotland – we would be devastated if we lost the American market.

“It would recover, but the model would be very different. We charge for a non-resident golfer today £495 [at Trump Turnberry]. For us, the amount of people who are willing to spend that in the UK is just not there.”

Katie Johnson, vice president of independent collections and hotels at Hyatt, which acquired Schloss Roxburghe two years ago, added: “We are seeing a lot of interest in golf, especially after the pandemic we saw a resurgence of interest in the game globally. Obviously Scotland is very well-known for golf and at Hyatt we are constantly grounded in listening and learning, especially on the luxury side of our guest experience.”

Golf tourism – including visitors playing courses and those who come to watch major events – is estimated to be worth nearly £300 million annually to the Scottish economy. According to research commissioned by Visit Scotland, average daily spending jumps from £64.50 for a day trip visitor to £318.12 for an overnight visitor, and goes up again to £338.49 for an overseas tourist.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 17, 2024 10:50
Write a comment


  1. Truck May 23, 10:07

    As others have said £495 for a non resident is too expensive for most of us, sadly golf is beginning to think due to the upsurge in the game post Covid that it’s a golden cow to be milked.
    OK you will have some people who maybe have a bucket list of courses they want to play so they will stump up that fee, Americans tip well and tend to spend as they don’t get the same number of holidays we do in Europe, so a trip here is probably on their bucket list and they are not going to do it in the cheap.
    For me it would be hard to justify over £100 per round on a general day out, maybe £200 for a bucket list / treat. I’ll never play Turnberry or stay in the hotel as it’s beyond what I can justify and impacts other areas I would want to spend on.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Dunster May 23, 09:27

    An average golf course in Scotland is over £150, because an American thinks a course isn’t worth a visit if it is less than that, which prices the rest of us out of the market.
    You should have a reasonable discretionary rate for golf club members in the UK.

    Reply to this comment
  3. FEISAL May 20, 12:06

    That’s incredible but would t surprise anyone! Thank you for sharing…

    Reply to this comment
  4. Sandy T May 19, 03:15

    Cheaper for us Scot’s to go to Portugal for a week and 5 Rounds, than one round and two nights in a Resort Hotel in Scotland, Americans have so much more take home pay than most of us.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Stanepoke May 18, 22:11

    Maybe if the reduced the price to a maximum of £100 for golfers from Britain/Ireland then the tee times would be fully booked all year round.

    Reply to this comment
  6. DR May 17, 13:41

    They need to find a balance. I get what they are saying, but they are turning UK based golfers away, and should the influx of American golfers dry up, English/Welsh/Irish based golfers may not be there to fill the gap. I play a lot of golf in Scotland, but more and more courses are pricing me out of playing, meaning I am starting to look elsewhere for value. An American may come over once in their lifetime, UK based golfers would provide revenue year after year. Not saying they are wrong, just that they need to see the bigger picture as well as the short term gain.

    Reply to this comment
View comments

Write a comment


Join Our Mailing List

Read the latest issues

Advertise With Us

For editorial enquiries in the magazine or online, contact:


For advertising enquiries in the magazine or online, contact: