Innovation Exchange

Perthshire Welcomes the Ryder Cup


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


Further Information

In September 2014, Perth and Kinross hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup and Junior Ryder Cup.  This offered competition between the best golfers from continental Europe and the United States.  The Ryder Cup is widely recognised as one of the largest sporting events in the world. The event is estimated to have generated £22m of expenditure in the area’s economy. The event drew a daily on-site audience of up to 45,000 spectators from 75 different countries. There were 50 global broadcasters reaching an estimated TV audience of 600 million viewers. As the Council Leader commented, this was “an unprecedented opportunity for Perth and Kinross to shine”.


The Council’s aim was also to work closely with a wide range of communities in order to successfully deliver the event. This included, marketing support to local businesses and provision of golf related activities in Perth City during the event. The event was hailed as the “best ever” by a range of influential commentators including sports broadcasters, politicians and national/local media. The Council’s inclusive approach to celebrating these events prompted many positive comments from local communities.

Theme: Community Planning and Empowerment

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A Core Group met on a monthly basis to track progress, budgets, risks and address emerging issues. Strategic support was provided by a Steering Group, and Council staff were involved in 20 of the 28 national Ryder Cup Working Groups, with particularly heavy involvement in community engagement, transport planning, and operational infrastructure activities. This ensured that our own activities were in accordance with partners’ preparations.


A multi-agency Community Engagement Group was established, and a community engagement strategy was produced.  Council officers played a leading role throughout.  A Legacy Plan was prepared to ensure that the benefits from the Ryder Cup and Junior Ryder Cup (and other important 2014 events) were maximised. Stakeholders included local retail and hospitality businesses and licensing hours were extended to let businesses stay open later. Additional activities included:


  • briefings were given to the local taxi community, free Ryder Cup posters and banners were made available, city centre entertainments were organised
  •  local golf clubs were involved via the Golf Perthshire marketing initiative
  • local schools were involved in the ClubGolf programme
  • education resources were made available and there was a competition for the best school Ryder Cup project
  • local “Take a Pride” groups  gained additional funding from the Council to enhance their areas; best community display competition
  • local community groups (Community Challenge Fund; best Ryder Cup-themed residential garden competition; local banners and street dressing)
  • care homes had intergenerational golf competitions with local schools
  • Ryder Cup Europe funding for prizes
  • Auchterarder Community Partnership (joint working on Open for Business promotions during event week)
  • local residents - Council staff worked with individual residents affected by disruption to their normal commuting bus or train services to find alternative transport
  • local residents’ briefing at Blairgowrie, to reassure them over measures to reduce disruption


All projects were delivered within the budget agreed by Council for the Ryder Cup.


Feedback from local and national politicians, the media, partner organisations and spectators has indicated that the 2014 Ryder Cup and Junior Ryder Cup are the best ever held - “I have no doubt that golf fans far and wide will agree that this has been the best Ryder Cup ever staged.” (former First Minster, Alex Salmond). There were no adverse reports or complaints from local Elected Members, Community Councils, or local media following the Ryder Cup. After the event, no complaints were received about the event by the Customer Service Centre. This is remarkable considering the scale and duration of the event and the number of people travelling into, and out of, the event site each day.


Feedback from partners involved in the Ryder Cup and local communities demonstrates significant recognition of the Council’s contribution, which enhances the overall reputation of the Council: “It was a pleasure to work with you”, Richard Hills, Ryder Cup Europe Director.  There were 64 articles in the local press which had a Perth and Kinross related input to a Ryder Cup story, between 1 July and 3 October 2014. Of these articles, 45 were positive about the Council or the area, 13 were neutral and only 6 were reported in a negative way (these related to temporary closure of Core Paths, and school in-service days to reduce traffic congestion).


The economic benefits from hosting The 2014 Ryder Cup are significant, with a pre-event estimated benefit of £100m for Scotland. Media reports suggested that the images of Scotland beamed out across the world were worth up to an estimated £40m in direct marketing benefit.  With the delivery of the £3.8 million link road for Gleneagles’ Station by Perth & Kinross Council, there has been a major improvement in road safety and sustainable travel (with the creation of a bus/rail link between the station and the surrounding towns), which will benefit the local community.


A Legacy Communications Plan was produced, aimed at promoting Perth & Kinross Council as an organisation and Perth and Kinross as an area with highly engaged communities and an excellent record of supporting large events. In addition to advertorial, public relations and digital communications, a short film showcasing our successful partnership working was produced and distributed to key stakeholders, further enhancing the reputation of the Council and the area.


The highly positive impression that Perth & Kinross Council has left with partners and the excellent testimonies from stakeholders, will assist the Council in attracting further large, high profile events in the future, in accordance with our Events Strategy. The positive feedback from community groups demonstrates their willingness to work closely with the Council on important issues in the future. There was also exceptional cross-Council co-ordination between 240 members of staff involved in this project, resulting in greater knowledge of each other’s roles and closer joint working for future Council activities.


Evidence from businesses in the golf tourism sector has been overwhelmingly positive. Major golf courses in the area such as Blairgowrie, Pitlochry and Murrayshall all reported full tee time bookings. Hotels including Atholl Palace, Salutation and Queens, ran at 100% occupancy during Ryder Cup week. Work will continue to ensure the sustained popularity of the area to visitors.


Golf Perthshire has been established as a partnership between the Council, VisitScotland, the Scottish Golf Union, Scottish Enterprise, and local businesses to maximise the promotional opportunities for golf in the area from the Ryder Cup. In October 2014, VisitScotland awarded Golf Perthshire £15,000 to continue marketing Perthshire as a golfing destination. This aims to attract an extra 1,500 golf tourism visitors to Perthshire, making a sustainable contribution to tourism in this area.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


Ruth Fry

Communications Manager

Perth and Kinross Council

01738 475006

Case study added to site: June 2016

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