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Old Course Inauguration

Press Release   •   May 26, 2017 16:58 BST

President Barack Obama playing the Old Course at St Andrews. Image courtesy of St Andrews Links and @Re-Counter

The Home of Golf welcomed another star admirer today (Friday 26 May) in the form of former US President Barack Obama. Within hours of touching down in Edinburgh, the former president was teeing off on the iconic Old Course during his first ever visit to Scotland.

VisitScotland believes his outing to St Andrews reinforces Scotland’s prestige as the best golfing destination in the world, which in turn could boost the country’s important golf tourism industry.

A recent study revealed the economic value of golf tourism and events to Scotland has increased to £286 million per year following a bumper decade.

Barack Obama is in Scotland to address business leaders at a charity dinner in Edinburgh organised by the Hunter Foundation.

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive, said: “As the undisputed Home of Golf, playing a round on the Old Course is a dream for golf fans and clearly Mr Obama is no exception, travelling straight to Fife after landing in Edinburgh this morning. His visit, which has been widely publicised, only strengthens our already stellar reputation as the best golfing destination in the world and will undoubtedly inspire others golf fans to add Scotland to their travel plans.

“Scotland is blessed with fantastic scenery, rich culture and awe-inspiring attractions. We hope Barack Obama continues to enjoy, not just the warm weather, but also our warm Scottish welcome and that this trip marks the first of many.”

Last month, a VisitScotland poll of 3,000 golfers set out to discover which golf holes in Scotland exhibited #ScotSpirit – a feature of the national tourism organisation’s Spirit of Scotland campaign. It named the 18th at St Andrews’ Old Course as the best golf hole in Scotland.

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