The 88th staging of The Boys Amateur Championship at Prestwick and Dundonald Links is set to deliver a £350,000 cash boost to the local economy.
Golf tourism businesses, in particular, will benefit according to an independent event impact study by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre. The study reveals that almost 3,000 commercial bed nights are required to host the championship, from today until Sunday 17 August, which generates additional spending on food and drink, transport and through local supplier contracts.
The news comes as play got underway today with 252 of the world’s best boy golfers, aged 18 years and under, teeing it up in Ayrshire having travelled from as far afield as the USA, New Zealand, South Africa and Mexico.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said: “The Boys Amateur Championship is one of the most prestigious events in golf and many players who have taken part over the years have gone on to achieve great things in the game.
“With players, their families, friends and supporters travelling to Ayrshire from Great Britain and Ireland and overseas, the championship will generate a significant boost for the local economy and create a lasting tourism benefit for the area.”
South Ayrshire Council Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Leisure and Tourism, Councillor Bill Grant said: "We warmly welcome The Boys Amateur Championship to South Ayrshire.
"Congratulations to The R&A for again organising this excellent event, rightly regarded as the leading international boys championship, with more than half the field coming from overseas.
"Many of tomorrow's professionals will have cut their teeth at this event, learning their craft on some challenging greens and fairways and we wish them well this week and in their future careers.
"It's a welcome boost to the local economy and helps us to maximise the appeal of golf for the benefit of the whole area and to position ourselves as one of the best places in the world to enjoy this exciting sport."
Many of the world’s top players have contested the Boys Amateur including past winners Sergio Garcia, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sir Michael Bonallack. Other former competitors include Major Championship winners Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy.
The qualifying stroke play stage of The Boys Amateur Championship will be played today and tomorrow (Wednesday 13 August 2014) at both Prestwick and Dundonald Links. Thereafter the field is cut to 64 and ties and the match play stage will take place over four days at Prestwick with the 36-hole final to be played on Sunday August 17.
Admission and parking is free for spectators at both clubs. Full information, scoring and daily updates from the event will be available at championships.randa.org.