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HIGHLAND GOLF LINKS’ PRO-AM SHORTLISTED FOR TOURISM AWARD

A record-breaking Pro-Am golf event has been shortlisted for a major award for its contribution to tourism and the north of Scotland economy.

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The 2016 Highland Golf Links 54-Hole Pro-Am Sponsored by Blue Group broke all previous records for the prestigious tournament that showcases three of Scotland’s finest links courses and provides a significant off-peak visitor boost for the area.

It was named today (Friday) as a finalist in the annual Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA) ahead of this year’s event teeing off next week.

As well as being a stand-alone event, part of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tartan Tour, the Pro-Am is an opportunity to promote the Highlands and golfing tourism in Scotland.

Held in a ‘shoulder’ month, outwith the traditional tourism season, it brings in welcome income spread over three principal locations in Inverness, Nairn and Dornoch, with knock-on effects for the Highlands and Scotland in general.

The 2016 Pro-Am, the first to be held with the Blue Group as headline sponsors, was held from 26-28 September at Castle Stuart Golf Links, in Inverness, Royal Dornoch Golf Club and the Nairn Golf Club, all members of Highland Golf Links (HGL), which promotes stay and play packages for golfing visitors.

The event attracted a capacity field of 76 teams from across the UK and Europe, bringing more than 300 players into the area and generating an estimated £300,000 over three days.

The Pro-Am brings the benefit of late-season bookings for the other HGL partners – the Kingsmills Hotel and Culloden House, in Inverness, and the Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch.

This year’s event, which starts on Monday (2 October) and runs until Wednesday, has been extended to include 80 teams from the UK, Europe and as far afield as Doha.

Event organiser, Fraser Cromarty, CEO at Nairn Golf Club and chairman of HGL, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this award. It is a tribute to the work of the partners and a real bonus as we prepare for this year’s event next week.”

HITA winners will be revealed on 3 November.