Colin McLeod, golf services manager of Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee, believes that the tournament opened new doors for tourism in the town. He said: “I deal a lot with tour operators from the United States, Europe and beyond. Up until now there has been a pre-conceived idea that the course is too difficult for women, and, as a result, it has primarily been mostly the wives of gentlemen who have played.
“The Ricoh Women’s Open has changed all that, especially in the Far East.”
With this expanding market in mind, the new golf shop in the recently opened pro-centre will also feature a sizeable stock of ladies’ equipment. Mr McLeod added: “We have opened up a much bigger pro shop in the new centre with a large area dedicated to ladies.” He believes the Ricoh ladies have shown the way, and their example will allow the town to tap a new seam of golf-tourists. They have shown that the course is playable, that has definitely been proven through the Ricoh Women’s Open.”
Mr McLeod hopes to use his existing contacts in the global golf media to spread the word that Carnoustie is open for business to lady golfers.
He said: “I have good contacts in ladies’ golf magazines and they are already putting nice articles about us in their magazines.”
Carnoustie Country Ambassador and Ricoh Women’s Open competitor, Catriona Matthews said: “It’s not often that we get to play in Scotland and to play at Carnoustie is a great experience. Carnoustie is one of the best links courses there is and I think everyone enjoyed their week here.”