Stefanie Whyte, Castle Stuart Golf Links administration and marketing manager
The enduring partnership of golf and whisky will be used to showcase the Highlands in The Netherlands next week.
Castle Stuart Golf Links and the Tomatin Distillery will jointly host a stand at the KLM Open at The Dutch in Spijk from 14-17 September. I’ll be joined by Nigel Robinson, Tomatin’s regional sales manager for The Netherlands.
Castle Stuart has had an association with Tomatin since we opened in 2009 and we stock many of the award-winning whiskies in the clubhouse, including the 36-year-old Single Malt, which was named ‘Best Scotch’ at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition this year. It makes sense, therefore, to join forces when we speak with businesses and tour operators about the attractions of playing golf in the Highlands.
Many golfers like to finish their game with a dram in the clubhouse and for visitors to the area mixing two of Scotland’s finest exports is the ideal holiday. The North of Scotland has a wealth of quality golf courses and also some of the finest malt whisky distilleries, as well as the whisky trail.
Golf tourism is worth more than £23 million annually to the Highlands, according to a recent study commissioned by VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise. Another study indicated that 32 per cent of visitors from The Netherlands are interested in visiting whisky distilleries on their trip to Scotland, so the association is a winning formula.
Visiting the KLM Open also maintains a connection with the event’s sponsors whose routes into Inverness from the international hub at Schiphol Airport have helped increase air traffic to and from the Highland capital. KLM’s Inverness-Amsterdam service, now twice daily, has further enhanced the Highland capital’s access to world-wide connections and boosted tourism.
With Castle Stuart’s first tee just a five-minute drive from Inverness Airport, and Tomatin Distillery around 30 minutes from the golf course, the improved air services are good news for golfing and whisky-loving visitors.
In its short history, Castle Stuart has earned a reputation for quality and innovation both on and off the course. It has hosted the European Tour’s Scottish Open on four occasions and its modern links is renowned as a contemporary classic with the emphasis on making golf fun, enjoyable and engaging.
New for this year, and a feature we will be showcasing at the KLM Open, is an accommodation and coaching package. This offer includes two rounds of golf, two nights’ accommodation in one of the on-site, four-bedroom lodges and an introduction to links golf with former tour pro and Curtis Cup player Gillian Stewart.
We will also use Augmented Reality to interact with visitors to our stand and help bring them closer to Castle Stuart and the Highlands using their phone or tablet.
AR brings signs, posters, adverts and even buildings to life. By simply downloading a free recognition software app, called Layar, mobile devices can then ‘read’ logos and trigger videos of the course and surrounding area.
If that’s not enough to encourage you to pop by, Tomatin will be hosting whisky tastings, featuring their Tomatin Legacy, 12-year-old and 18-year-old malts, and there will also be daily prize draws, where winners can win either a bottle of 12-year-old Tomatin or a Castle Stuart quaich.
And on Sunday there is a main prize draw with a chance to win a fantastic package including two return KLM Inverness-Amsterdam flights, two nights’ accommodation, including breakfast, at Castle Stuart’s on-site accommodation, and two rounds of golf for two people at Castle Stuart, plus a bottle of the 1988 vintage malt and a VIP tour of Tomatin Distillery.
We look forward to seeing you at Stand 3.