Scottish Golf Tourism Week 2019

Scottish Golf Tourism Week  2019 (SGTW) has just finished.

Based at the Fairmont Hotel in St Andrews, SGTW brings together leading golf tour companies and a variety of suppliers of golf products to talk golf and do business.

For suppliers like us, the days are very much intensive speed dating.

Woodside Hotel

(The above photo is my wife and I at the gala dinner, not speed dating!)

You have a pitch and you hope the tour operator is interested in what you have to offer.

It was this face to face approach I enjoyed the most.

Some people think in the social media age that it’s easy to get your message across.

A few Google ads, some well written Facebook content, some snappy Instagram photos, funny tweets and the world is your oyster.

The problem is, everyone is doing this.

It’s very hard to get your unique selling point across.

As we all say, people do business with people.

There’s simply no substitute for getting to know people.

That can’t happen in 15 minutes, but it’s a start. A first date, if you like, and hopefully the start of a mutually beneficial relationship.

SGTW was also fun.

As a first timer, I didn’t realise how much fun it would be.

But, this is golf, arguably the most sociable sport in the world, and the whole atmosphere about the event was supportive, inclusive and often very very funny.

One tour operator, if you were there and you’re reading this, you’ll know who I’m talking about, should really have been on stage at the gala dinner awards night.

I don’t think we talked any business at all during our session!

But, like, with all the other representatives there, we now have a relationship we can build.

Relations between suppliers, on the face of it, competitors, was first class too.

It was great to mix with professional people who appreciate that all of us in Scotland are in this together and there’s plenty of business for everyone if we do the right thing.

We’re just delighted to put Aberdour on the map.

It took me til about my fifth appointment to work out one of our issues is people just didn’t know where Aberdour is!

I really didn’t want to use the cliche “hidden gem” but I started using it because it’s just true.

Aberdour Hidden Gem








Thanks to the organisers who put together this great event. Not just on the days of the conference but in all the weeks and months helping us prepare and have the best experience we could.

The Fairmont hotel was excellent too. A superb venue for a high profile event such as this and their staff were first class too.

I can’t wait til next year’s event!


Aberdour Festival 2019

On the 26th of July the 36th Aberdour Festival kicks off. It truly is a remarkable ten days. Flicking through the programme, there is an incredibly diverse number of sporting, musical and cultural events on and there really is something for everyone. Some people buy Glastonbury tickets regardless of the acts involved as they just like the vibe and hanging out with friends. A lot of the fun of the Aberdour Festival is that; taking time off work to stay up a bit later or just being naughty and having a drink in the afternoon!

The Festival committee do an amazing job and we’re more than happy to help out. My own contribution is, with our own small committee, putting together the Donkey Brae Run, on Sunday 28 July. The 7 mile run is a 550 strong sell out. We expect around another 100 runners for the 2 mile run and about 300 for the fun run. With the Village Market Day on straight after it, Donkey Brae day, as I call it, is, IMHO, the best day of the year in this part of Fife.

The Festival at the Woodside kicks off on Friday 26 July with an exhibition of photographs by Fraser Simpson.  Fraser was a leading member of the International Cave Divers Association and many of the photos on exhibition are incredible shots of his challenges around the world. The exhibition has been organised by Fraser’s good friend (and friend of the Woodside!) Douglas Kelso, who put together the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park. Expect a highly professional display honouring the work of a remarkable man. Prints will be on sale with all proceeds going to the Maggie’s Centre Fraser attended.

On the evening of Monday 29 July there is a comedy night at the hotel. We’ve been looking to host comedy events for some time so hopefully there is an audience for us. The Festival committee have a strong bill of four very funny comics and this is a night we’re looking forward to a great deal.

The next night, Tuesday 30 July sees Aberdeenshire folksinger, Iona Fyfe take the stage. Winner of Scots Singer of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2018, Iona now has an international reputation.

On Wednesday 31 July, we’re delighted to host Fife’s own Coaltown Daisies. With their love of country and Americana Vivienne and Lynzy are a perfect fit for a night at The Woodside.

After this, we’re going to take it easy and enjoy a bit of the Festival ourselves! I’m looking forward to hearing Stuart Cosgrove talk about American soul on Friday 2 August. Stuart’s soul trilogy is incredibly researched and written. Each book is a thriller in its own right. His knowledge of 60s American society, quite apart from soul music, is exceptional and his ability to recall facts and anecdotes of the period, with a very Scottish sense of humour, makes for a great evening for music fans.

Hope to see you about.

Tickets for all the official Festival events are available in various locations in Aberdour and for our own Coaltown Daisies gig at the hotel online here.