THE stunning Ryder Cup victory by Europe's golfers has sent interest in the 2014 re-match at Gleneagles sky-high – even though tickets don't go on sale for months.
Tickets for the eagerly anticipated event will become available in May next year, but the incredible weekend comeback at Medinah, Illinois, prompted a surge in interest from golf fans as local homeowners around the Perthshire venue also sought to cash in. Some residents are looking for up to £1500 per day to rent out their properties during the Ryder Cup.
Golf fans have been busy signing up for the chance to buy tickets in a ballot and have not been put off by the fact it's not yet known how much they will cost.
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A spokesman for the European Tour, which will organise the event, said: "The pre-registration has just been announced recently and, with events in Medinah, interest has been sky-high."
Cheshire-based Ryder Cup Travel Services, which has organised ticket and accommodation packages to Ryder Cup matches on both sides of the Atlantic since 1997, said it had been inundated with requests, adding: "The phones this morning have gone absolutely crackers and our website email inbox has gone bananas."
Gleneagles Hotel will run a variety of packages in the run-up to the Ryder Cup but the public won't actually be able to stay in the hotel during the event as it will be fully occupied by golfers and officials.
Nigel Roberts, sales director of Glenmor, its development of holiday homes, said: "Pricing and availability is still to be confirmed, but it is possible some properties will be available for rental during the week of the Ryder Cup."
At Crieff Hydro Hotel, spokeswoman Sarah Nicolson said: "We're expecting strong occupancy over the 2014 Ryder Cup period due to various factors including our prime location."
Vicki Unite, chief executive of Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, said: "The Ryder Cup is an excellent opportunity to showcase Perthshire and Scotland as a top-class tourist destination.
"Many local restaurants and golf clubs are planning events and visitor days during the Ryder Cup. We understand the main contracts have already been negotiated including contracts such as Stagecoach's involvement with transport arrangements. Hotels are fully booked, many with media and contractors as well as spectators."
Perth & Kinross Council leader Ian Miller said: "Perthshire is already known as a terrific golfing destination but in 2014 it will be on the map like never before. I know the people of Perthshire will embrace the event and help make it one to remember for a long time."
VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay added: "The £100 million boost the Ryder Cup will bring to the Scottish economy is obviously fantastic in its own right but we are working hard to make sure Scottish golf and tourism will benefit for years to come."
On one property website, the owner of a two-bedroom cottage one mile from Gleneagles is asking for £500 a day for its hire, while the owners of Lintrose House, near Coupar Angus, 31 miles from the course, are seeking £1500 a night. In return, visitors can expect room for up to 12 guests in 200 acres of private estate, with a snooker table.
Even homeowners in Edinburgh – more than 40 miles away – are getting in on the act, with owners of a four-bedroom townhouse seeking £4000 a week for September 2014.
Richard Wallace, of Ryder Cup property specialists GlenGolf2014.com, said: "The shortage of quality hotel rooms presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Scottish homeowners to open their doors to visitors from across the golfing world."