Archive for the ‘Open Golf’ Category

Open auction a champion idea

GOLF fans will have a unique opportunity to support the growth and development of the sport around the world following the launch of a series of exclusive Champion Golfer memorabilia collections.

The Open Auction, a first for the UK Golf Market, features limited edition memorabilia from golf’s original championship and will enable fans to submit bids online for items which have been specially created for the auction website. 

Inspired by Francesco Molinari’s historic win at The 147th Open at Carnoustie this year, the ‘Molinari Collection’ will be the first range of collectables to be launched on the new platform and will include signed limited edition items which commemorate the Italian’s first ever victory in a major championship.

Further planned collections will mark the world-renowned achievements of several Champion Golfers, including Open Ambassador and five-time winner Tom Watson and Tiger Woods, who has won The Open on three occasions, and fans will also be able to bid for these coveted items.

The 2018 Champion Golfer of the Year Francesco Molinari said, “Lifting the famous Claret Jug was a moment that I had always dreamed about as a young golfer and it is now written into the esteemed history of this prestigious Championship.

“It was thrilling to celebrate my victory with the tens of thousands of spectators who created such a memorable atmosphere at Carnoustie and I am pleased to be able to provide a selection of special mementos from that unforgettable week which will contribute to the future of the sport.”

All net proceeds from The Open Auction will be used to fund The R&A’s activities in golf development, governance of the sport and staging of world class amateur events as part of its commitment to invest £200m over the next ten years to grow and develop the sport around the world.

This includes initiatives to increase participation in golf by people of all ages and abilities, including women, juniors and families, and investment in playing facilities and equipment, coaching programmes, golf events and projects to promote the health benefits of the sport.  

Angela Howe, Director of the British Golf Museum in St Andrews, which boasts the largest collection of golf memorabilia in Europe, added, “The Open has produced so many compelling stories and memorable moments throughout its cherished history and the launch of the new player collections will provide golf fans with a fantastic opportunity to own their own piece of Championship history as well as supporting the growth and development of golf worldwide.”

The Open Auction will be supported by Pursuit 3 Group who were also the official auction partner of the Winter Olympics in 2010, the Olympics in London 2012 and Rio 2016, the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

Bids can be submitted online by visiting The Open Auction


PGA pros will help to inspire families to take up golf

SPECTATORS at the Open Championship will be getting behind The Professional Golfers’ Association’s #WeLoveGolf campaign by sharing the reasons why they love the game.

Visitors to the R&A Swing Zone which is manned by 30 PGA coaches and staff, will be asked to celebrate their love of the game by sharing photos taken with the #WeLoveGolf logo on their own social media channels.

The PGA will also share its favourites as momentum builds around the campaign, which supports the PGA’s wider strategy to encourage more women and girls to play golf by creating a positive, more inclusive image of the game.

Robert Maxfield said: “We want to show people what golf looks like in the 21st century.  There is a diverse community of people who play the game and a myriad of ways to play it, but people still hold onto the clichés of the past because we don’t tell them that things are any different.  If we really want to change the way non-golfers think about golf, then this is the perfect platform to do so.”

The #WeLoveGolf community has been steadily growing since its launch at the end of May.  The group provides a source of information about golf and connects people with an interest in the game to PGA Professionals delivering innovative golf programmes.

As well as asking members of the public to share their love of the game, the PGA is also encouraging industry members and celebrities to get involved.  There will be a branded ‘photo wall’ set up in the PGA Marquee for people to take photos against, as well as leaflets explaining the campaign in more detail.

Maxfield added: “We are really excited to see just how far this activity can reach.  Every year, our staff hear amazing stories from the thousands of people using the SwingZone facility and we know that by sharing those stories we will inspire others to think about taking up the game.”

Birkdale breaks Open crowd record

A record-breaking crowd of 235,000 attended the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale setting an attendance record for a Championship staged outside of St Andrews.

This attendance surpassed the 230,000 mark set at Royal Liverpool in 2006, making it the largest ever Championship held in England and reflects a 17% increase since The Open last visited Royal Birkdale in 2008.

Record advance ticket sales made it the fastest-selling Championship in history and included more than 15,000 Youth Tickets. Overall 30,000 golf fans under the age of 25 attended The Open, 13% of the total crowd, and included over 15,000 juniors aged 16 and under who attended free-of-charge as part of the Kids Go Free initiative.

Huge demand for The Open’s official hospitality offering led to all six packages selling out, including the Claret Jug Pavilion, Champions Club and Greenside Club.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “One of the main reasons why The Open is so highly regarded as a world class sporting event is the hundreds of thousands of spectators who generate a very special atmosphere for the players and millions of viewers watching around the world.

“A record-breaking crowd has enjoyed a week of thrilling golf and we thank every single person who has visited Royal Birkdale over the last eight days for making this a very special Championship.”

The 147th Open will take place at Carnoustie from 15-22 July 2018 and fans who are eager to beat the rush to buy tickets can sign up to The One Club, a unique membership that allows fans to sign-up for free and get exclusive access to behind-the-ropes and other money-can’t-buy experiences, including priority access to tickets for the Championship in 2018, 2019 (Royal Portrush) and 2020 (Royal St George’s). Visit for more information.

Notes to Editors:

The Open’s Biggest Attendances:

2000, St Andrews, Scotland: 239,000

2015, St Andrews, Scotland: 237,000

2017, Royal Birkdale, England: 235,000

2006, Royal Liverpool, England: 230,000

2005, St Andrews, Scotland: 223,000

1990, St Andrews, Scotland: 209,000

2014, Royal Liverpool, England: 203,000

2008, Royal Birkdale, England: 201,500

2010, St Andrews, Scotland: 201,000

1998, Royal Birkdale, England: 195,000


Open expected to attract record crowds

The_Open_Header_Banner_RGB_2917x517 (1).jpg

A RECORD venue crowd of more than 225,000 spectators are expected to attend the 146th Open which starts at Royal Birkdale tomorrow making it one of the best attended in the history of the championship.

Based on strong advance sales, the attendance will surpass the previous high mark of 201,500 at Royal Birkdale in 2008, with this year’s event the fastest selling in history.

Thousands of fans are still expected to purchase tickets throughout the week and the championship could take its place in the four largest attendances in the Open’s history.

Martin Slumbers, chief Executive of the R&A, said:  “The record number of spectators expected to attend underpins the Open’s reputation as one of the world’s great sporting events.

“We very much look forward to welcoming fans from all over the globe to Royal Birkdale to join us for a true celebration of world-class sport.”

The Open is increasingly attracting a younger audience with more than 20,000 young people aged under 25 attending. More than 10,000 Youth Tickets have been sold in advance while more than 10,000 juniors aged 16 years will attend the free of charge as part of the successful Kids Go Free initiative.

Several hospitality and ticket categories have sold out with the Claret Jug Pavilion, Champions Club, Greenside Club, Reserved Seating and Twilight Tickets all selling out in advance of the Championship.

More than 3,000 spectators will take advantage of free accommodation for youngsters and a low-cost rate for adults at the Open Camping Village located at nearby Victoria Park.


The Open’s Biggest Attendances:

2000, St Andrews, Scotland: 239,000

2015, St Andrews, Scotland: 237,000

2006, Royal Liverpool, England: 230,000

2017, Royal Birkdale, England: >225,000

2005, St Andrews, Scotland: 223,000

1990, St Andrews, Scotland: 209,000

2014, Royal Liverpool, England: 203,000

2008, Royal Birkdale, England: 201,500

2010, St Andrews, England: 201,000

1998, Royal Birkdale, England: 195,000

Open invitation to play at Royal Birkdale

GOLF club members throughout Great Britain and Ireland will have the opportunity to tee up at Royal Birkdale shortly before the world’s best players compete at the 146th Open in July.

A group of 42 men and women will secure their places in the final of the inaugural R&A Nine Hole Championship through a qualifying process organised by the national governing bodies in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The final will be July 15 when qualifiers will play the challenging back nine at the famous Southport links just before official practice begins for the top players in the game.

Defending champion Henrik Stenson, Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the 2014 Champion Golfer of the Year Rory McIlroy and world number one Dustin Johnson will be among those competing. The Open is being staged at Royal Birkdale for the tenth time on July 16 – 23.

The nine hole event, which follows a successful pilot last year, is central to The R&A’s efforts to promote this form of golf as an ideal way to play the sport in less time, either recreationally or competitively for handicap purposes.

Duncan Weir, executive director – Golf Development at The R&A said: “We want to promote nine hole golf as a perfectly valid means of enjoying the game whether socially or competitively and the 2017 event builds on the successful pilot run at Royal Troon last summer.

“We know the time 18 holes can take and that this can deter golfers from playing regularly so we continue to encourage clubs to offer nine hole event opportunities. It is important, we believe, to remind golfers that nine hole play is increasing in popularity and therefore being enjoyed by more players.”

The qualifying events are open to men, women, boys and girls who are club members with a CONGU handicap.


The Open teams up with Grand National

The Open.jpg

THE Open has teamed up with the Randox Health Grand National ahead of the 146th staging of the Championship at Royal Birkdale in July.

The partnership will see the Open and  Randox Health Grand National work together on providing engaging content for fans over the coming months in the build-up to two of the world’s greatest sporting events.

The agreement will give racing fans the chance to get up close to the Claret Jug as it visits Aintree Racecourse on Saturday April 8 for the world’s greatest steeplechase.

There will also be exclusive offers to fans who plan to attend the Open, which will bring the world’s best golfers to the North West from July 16-23.

Fans of the Open will also have the opportunity to secure their place at the Randox Health Grand National Festival 2018 following this year’s sell-out event.

Neil Armit, chief commercial officer of the R&A, organisers of the Open, said: “We are looking forward to working with the Grand National to help promote the 146th Open ahead of the tenth staging of the Championship at the historic links of Royal Birkdale. We know that fans in Merseyside and the wider North West region are eagerly anticipating these two iconic events in 2017.”

Mike Sarath, head of marketing for Jockey Club Racecourses North West, said: “With two world class sporting events taking place just a few miles apart this year, it made perfect sense to partner with The R&A. We are looking forward to helping promote the Open at the Randox Health Grand National and promoting our event at Royal Birkdale with exclusive ticket access to both sets of fans.”

Tickets for The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale are available online now at

Lancashire clubs can capitalise on Open

LANCASHIRE golf clubs are being urged to use the Open Championship as a springboard to growing the sport.

The world’s best players be at Royal Birkdale from July 16-23 with the dream of lifting the coveted Claret Jug.

The event attracts worldwide attention and clubs in the region are hoping to raise awareness of local opportunities to give golf a go.

A Road to The Open campaign is being organised by England Golf, the Professional Golfers’ Association and the Golf Foundation with a range of activities to promote the game in schools, the local community and clubs.

It is being supported by the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs and the Lancashire County Ladies’ Golf Association.

The project is aiming to work with primary and secondary schools, offering special taster sessions, while pupils will be invited to the Open to visit the Golf Foundation and PGA in the specially-created Swing Zone.

Golf-themed assemblies will be delivered in Southport schools while staff, as well as the pupils, will be able to take part in Get into Golf sessions.

Community projects include Street Golf, an initiative that takes the sport away from the traditional fairways and greens and out on to pavements and roads to increase the accessibility of the sport. The national final of the HSBC Golf Roots Street Golf competition will be staged in the Southport area at the start of Open week, while there will be special family-orientated events before and after the championships.

Golf clubs will be asked to host taster sessions and a Road to The Open competition as well as social events, such as The Open Quiz night or food and drink festivals.

Clubs will also be encouraged to promote Golf Express to visitors to The Open, with the message that there is “time for 9” as part of their trip.


Statistics show that sports enjoy a two-week spike in interest following a major event and Lancashire Golf Development Group county officers Adam McAlister and Debbie Barber will be working with clubs to help capitalise on this potential surge in participation.

England Golf regional manager Gareth Shaw said: “The Open is a great shop window for golf and a chance for the sport to kick football off the back pages of the national newspapers.

“It is golf’s Olympic moment and we want to make sure that those people who are interested in trying golf or returning to it as a result of watching or reading about The Open can find the right opportunity to suit them at a local club.

“We want clubs to take the opportunity to celebrate the Open being on our doorstep by, perhaps, taking golf out to the community, into the parks or the clubs, a city centre or a beach – or holding a social night, such as a Spanish or American-themed event. It is not just about what happens on the grass!

“Clubs should dream big and ensure the Open is not just a one-shot experience.”

Danielle Thomas, the PGA regional coaching development officer, said: “This is not just about Open week but creating a legacy from the event. We will get all kinds of people going through the Swing Zone at the Open –youngsters picking up a club for the first time and even a 92 year-old who was still enjoying their golf – but we want to make sure clubs have the right offer in place in the weeks afterwards.”

Andy Leigh, Golf Foundation regional officer, added: “Lots of people want to pick up a tennis racquet after Wimbledon but may head for the parks rather than the clubs. So we want to ensure the clubs can help those who want to pick up a golf club after the Open.”

Road to the Open organisers have launched a new Twitter handle, #roadtotheopen2017, which they are encouraging clubs to adopt on social media.

Get into golf is a national campaign to inspire adults to take up the game and is run by the England Golf Partnership through its network of County Golf Development Groups, supported by Sport England and National Lottery funding.

Get into golf opportunities include FREE taster sessions and low-cost beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends.

To find your nearest centre visit and look at the activity map or call 0800 118 2766

You can follow Get into golf on Twitter or on Facebook at


RoadtoOpen2017.jpg Road to the Open organisers include, from left, Adam McAlister and Debbie Barber, county development officers for the Lancashire Golf Development Group, Danielle Thomas, Regional Coaching Development Officer for the PGA, Andy Leigh, regional officer for the Golf Foundation, Phil Harvey, secretary of the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs, and Gareth Shaw, regional manager England Golf,



Aaron gets a leg up in bid to turn professional

A FORMER Royal Marine commando who lost a leg serving in Afghanistan seven years ago is making great strides towards achieving his ambition to become a golf professional.

Continue reading

Lancs lads book their place in the Open


LANCASTRIANS Jack Senior, from Heysham, and  Southport & Ainsdale’s Paul Howard cleared the Open Championship final qualifying hurdle at Hillside.

Senior, a late entrant, reeled off five birdies in the opening seven holes in his first round 69 then rolled in four more plus an eagle on the home straight to post 70.

Howard,  round in 69 and 73, won a five-way play-off for for second place.

Meanwhile, Colin Montgomerie thrilled a sizeable crowd by booking his place at Royal Troon by qualifying at Gailes Links.

The 53-yer-old, who is connected to Royal Troon, where his dad, James, served as club secretary, made 21 consecutive Open appearances until 2010, had been preparing at Gailes Links for this attempt since the end of last week.

They’re off! Open swings into action

THE first shots have been fired in the Open and the Old Course at St Andrews is in ideal condition at the start of nn exciting four days ahead.

Continue reading