MORE than 9000 have put their name forward for 1800 volunteer posts at the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles next year despite a £75 charge for the privilege.

Half of those are from Scotland and the flood of applications was described as the best in the history of the competition.

The levy was criticised by unions and an MSP who said the fee could potentially restricts applicants.

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However, organisers said the rate of applications is four times faster than that experienced for the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Wales.

Applications have been received from 46 different countries, reflecting the diverse global appeal of the world's greatest golf event, a spokesman said.

Those from Scotland, England, the US, Ireland and Northern Ireland make up the top five, while entries have been received from countries ranging from Equatorial Guinea and Estonia to India and Iceland.

The event is expected to attract 45,000 spectators to see Europe and America's elite golfers in September 2014 and is likely to generate £100 million for the economy.

However, Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson raised concerns over social inclusion saying such a charge could restrict those who could take part.

She said she had hoped organisers would have looked to local communities and "focused on Scottish young people from across all backgrounds first, before opening this up to everyone, anywhere in the world".

Ryder Cup Europe said the fee is to cover food, drink and the unifrom.

But it also said volunteers will be guaranteed at least half a day on course during each day of competition.