Ryder Cup 2014
First Minister Alex Salmond travelled to Gleneagles today to mark the announcement of important milestones for the Ryder Cup to be held in Scotland in 2014.
It was confirmed today that the prestigious event will take place on September 26 to 28, 2014, marking the end of a spectacular sporting summer for
Scotland, which will also see the Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow.
During the First Minister's visit, it was also announced that Diageo has been named an official partner for the 2014 Ryder Cup.
The First Minister also inspected the changes - proposed by Jack Nicklaus - that are now being undertaken on the PGA Centenary Course ahead of the competition.
First Minister Alex Salmond said:
"As the home of golf, Scotland is well placed to host the best ever Ryder Cup when the tournament arrives at Gleneagles in 2014.
"The arrangements for this spectacular event are well underway, and I am delighted to announce today that the 2014 event will be held over the weekend of 26 to 28 September, allowing the tens of thousands of spectators expected to attend to begin making their travel plans in earnest.
"I am also delighted to have seen for myself today the many exciting changes that are being made to improve this already outstanding golf course. As well as the hi-tech efforts to reduce water on the greens, the Ryder Cup teams can expect many of the changes - proposed by Jack Nicklaus - to provide a sterner test as they seek glory during the competition.
"During the week of the Ryder Cup itself, the Scottish economy is expected to benefit by up to £100m, as visitors flock from across the globe to experience superb golf on one of the best courses in the world.
"But the benefits of the tournament will long outlive that special week and be felt for many years to come. As well as the lasting economic benefit, having the world's premier golfing event on our doorstep will allow thousands of young Scottish golfers to see the very best the sport has to offer up close, giving them an experience they will never forget and inspiring them to achieve great things in the future.
"Plans for the tournament are progressing well, but the support from sponsors will ensure that the event is able to maximise the benefits to Scotland, be that through increasing visitor numbers or ensuring the tournament is the most spectacular Ryder Cup ever.
"That is why I am delighted to welcome Diageo on board as a major backer for the 2014 Ryder Cup. Their welcome support underlines the huge popularity of the Ryder Cup and shows the willingness of the Scottish business community to support major events right here on their doorstep.
"It is also exciting to see Diageo's pledge to work with the Scottish Government's innovative Clubgolf initiative, with a commitment to help promote participation in youth golf in the run up to the 2014 event.
"Clubgolf gives thousands of children in Scotland the chance to play golf, putting a club in the hands of every nine-year-old in the country, and the Scottish Government recently announced a £2 million investment in the programme to build on the legacy opportunity the Ryder Cup offers."