The 150th Open is officially in full swing in St Andrews, with traders gearing up for another busy day of serving golf fanatics.
Scenes of bustling streets, busy bars and diners eating al fresco paint a promising picture for the seaside town as tourism bounces back after Covid rules were scrapped.
Around 300,000 people from across the world have descended on Scotland’s east coast for the much-anticipated competition this week, with St Andrews’ population of 18,000 swelling by around 16 times.
On Sunday, the winning golfer will lift the Claret Jug and scoop a record £2.1m in prize money.
With £100m expected to be generated in the local economy, traders are toasting a winning week.
Julie Dalton, owner of restaurants The Adamson and Hatch, said: “It’s just a breath of fresh air to see everyone back so happy. It’s such a great atmosphere.
“It’s amost like holiday overload. It’s getting busier every night with more and more people coming into town. We welcome them with open arms!”
Seamus Coen, who owns hotel Rusacks, said: “The atmosphere is electric. The town is hopping and the buzz is unreal. Golfers are coming from all over the world. Some have not been in years, some not at all.
“Friendships are made for life here, old and new friends. It’s great for residents and for local businesses. It’s a fantastic week.”
Over at Jannetti’s Gelateria, boss Owen Hazel hopes to scoop up some of the bumper spending this weekend.
“It’s been coming for so long,” he said. “Living here, you could see it getting bigger and bigger; the structure going up, the tented village. It has been amazing.
“The atmosphere is through the roof, especially in the evenings in town when everyone comes off the golf course. It’s lovely.”
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