SCOTTISH golf has received a cash boost of £3 million annually from the Government to support events and market the country as the home of the sport. 

For the first time, Scotland will host the R&A’s three major championships this year - the Open, the AIG Women's Open, and the Senior Open - alongside Scotland’s two opens. 

The Scottish Open - which has attracted its strongest-ever field this year with nine of the world’s top 10 players competing - got underway on Thursday at the Renaissance Club and has received £1.8 million in funding to support it to grow and deliver a first-rate playing and spectating experience.

Meanwhile, a record-breaking crowd of nearly 300,000 is expected at St Andrews for the 150th Open, with large numbers expected to attend the other events this month and next.

Culture Minister Neil Gray highlighted the benefits of Scottish Government support for the sport.

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Gray said: “Earlier this week, I was delighted to get the chance to say thanks in person to many of those who have contributed to Scotland’s spectacular summer of golf, including event organisers, governing bodies, sponsors, partners, local authorities, media, and broadcasters.

“In the same year, as we celebrate the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, it’s fitting that we underline Scotland’s status as the home of golf and a global leader in golf tourism by hosting an unprecedented series of tournaments that will showcase Scotland and our top courses to a worldwide audience.

“The Scottish Government recognises the importance and benefits of golf and golf events, including boosting tourism and our economy. We have a long-standing track record of support and are proud to fund our annual national men’s and women’s Opens and work with our partners at VisitScotland to support a host of other events.

“Our commitment to all of these fantastic tournaments helps promote our priorities, including health and wellbeing and inclusivity and equality - and I’m delighted to see the Women’s Open at Muirfield for the first time.”

In 2019, Muirfield welcomed women members for the first time after nearly three centuries of only allowing men to join.