Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it ?

Liverbirdie

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

Silloth could not accommodate the crowds or all the hoopla needed on site, as well as being far too short for an Open. The pros would kill it on a calm day, as rare as those are up there.

Local qualifying course and great course for club players to visit, for sure.

You may be right, haven't played it, but lots of others have said it should be.
 

chrisd

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

Although the SE is the most densly populated, it would be interesting to see what percentage of the local populus would attend an open in that area. I would suggest that there is a higher percentage of golfers per head of population in Scotland than in the Home Counties. I wonder if there is a breakdown somewhere which shows where the majority of spectators are from for each Open venue.




St Georges was jam packed despite the weather and it was pretty busy on the practice days. When the European tour had events at the London Club for 2 years the crowds were enormous as they are at Wentworth every year. We could sustain half a dozen tournaments a year easily
 

Liverbirdie

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

St Georges was jam packed despite the weather and it was pretty busy on the practice days. When the European tour had events at the London Club for 2 years the crowds were enormous as they are at Wentworth every year. We could sustain half a dozen tournaments a year easily

I'm sure they could, but masive crowds should not be an over-riding criteria. 180,000 at a mainland one, should not discriminate against Nor Ireland getting it if they can pull in 120,000, as long as a profit is made.

The long term future /advancement of golf to Nor Ireland kids would be worth more to the game, than just an extra few million in the R&A coffers.
 

Ian_S

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

Fair point about bringing it closer to more people, but (without having the figures to hand) I'd venture a guess that more people are within 100 miles of a lot of the Scottish courses than they are a lot of the US major courses.

We are on a small island. Nowhere is really 'a long way' if you think about it in terms of America, so I don't really see how it being in Scotland often makes it particularly inaccessible compared to the other 3 majors.
 

Scadge

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

Fair point about bringing it closer to more people, but (without having the figures to hand) I'd venture a guess that more people are within 100 miles of a lot of the Scottish courses than they are a lot of the US major courses.

We are on a small island. Nowhere is really 'a long way' if you think about it in terms of America, so I don't really see how it being in Scotland often makes it particularly inaccessible compared to the other 3 majors.

Of course anywhere in the UK is going to be more accessible than the other three majors - I have never popped over their on a whim. I wonder if the R&A could say that at least once in 10 years the Open should be within 3 hours drive of anyone in the UK and all four constituent countries should host an Open in that period. Now that would be accessible !
 

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

I think you will find from most of the replies to this thread that it is folks north of the border who find the travel argument hard to fathom where golf is concerned and have tried to distract attention from this by characterizing it as a London attitude. In Solihull I am about as far from hallowed links as you can get - I just hope to have more car rather than plane based travel options to future Opens

I fseeing the Open means so much why don't you emigrate up here seempls
 

stevek1969

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

Having read this why don't we have it slap bang in the middle of London that would be easier for wouldn't it. Troon is easy to get but not the best,i think Portrush should get a go but sadly i cant see it happening,they have the infrastucutre there and nxt week will prove it with a first time European Tour sell out.

The Open is a meant to be held on links pity all the best ones are up here, oh and 2 are 15 minutes from my house how handy is that.
 

HomerJSimpson

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

The issue is surely cost. No local council, even with Lottery funding is going to embark on such a project to invest in upgrading the infrastructure to hold a competition that may roll into town once every ten years or so. I'm sure the R&A will gander some of the cost but I can see it becoming a political hot potato locally for anyone, including Portrush, et al to embark on such a big project. As it is the rota will stand for a good few years to come
 

Val

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

My god if this thread was on paper I'd have enough bog roll for weeks
 

chris661

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

The issue is surely cost. No local council, even with Lottery funding is going to embark on such a project to invest in upgrading the infrastructure to hold a competition that may roll into town once every ten years or so. I'm sure the R&A will gander some of the cost but I can see it becoming a political hot potato locally for anyone, including Portrush, et al to embark on such a big project. As it is the rota will stand for a good few years to come

It is proabaly easier for Portrush to get money through Europe and put it down as some cross border initiative.
 

patricks148

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

I'm pretty sure i read an interview with Peter Dawson and if memory serves me right, he said there were a few problems with Royal St Georges and something would need to be done if it were to go back.
 

Scadge

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

I'm pretty sure i read an interview with Peter Dawson and if memory serves me right, he said there were a few problems with Royal St Georges and something would need to be done if it were to go back.

It was difficult to get to and the park and ride a long way from the course but no Ryanair Siberian shot putters to contend with, no overnight rip off and when we had been thoroughly battered on Saturday we were able to go home and miss Darren at his majestic best.
 

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

Fascinating thread. The staunch Scots taking offence when none was intended. The purists casting consternation on any suggestion the rota should ever include a non links course. The realists proposing that any additions are likely to be north of the border admitting that though Porthcawl is a good shout the infrastructure isn't good enough.

And underneath all of those layers lies the kernel of a valid thought provoking question: should the rota be expanded. Due to the number of comments claiming that this is THE Open as opposed to the British Open my question is what is therefore the basis for choosing the courses?

With all the arguments put forward on here there are contradictions within the existing rota. I think the problem is the 'size of the beast' today. Venues cannot grow organically and need to be fit for purpose from the off. Someone has already mentioned return on investment on this thread. That for me is the key. Is the ROI significant enough to justify significant expenditure to host The Open for one week every ten years...I'm not so sure it is.

That said great thread Scadge :thup:
 
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Liverbirdie

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

With all the arguments put forward on here there are contradictions within the existing rota. I think the problem is the 'size of the beast' today. Venues cannot grow organically and need to be fit for purpose from the off. Someone has already mentioned return on investment on this thread. That for me is the key. Is the ROI significant enough to justify significant expenditure to host The Open for one week every ten years...I'm not do sure it is.

That said great thread Scadge :thup:

I think it should be a mixture of 3 things, the R&A should pay for any course improvements and something towards infrastructure.

The local council for some of the infrastructure and the course should also.

After all, they will probably add on 30-40% for future green fees, as they are now on the rota (on a loan spread over 10 years, I am sure they would be better off).

The town would also be better off in the future due to extra tourism, especially golfers.

Look at Royal Liverpool (before getting back on the rota) whose green fees probably doubled over 10 yaers once they were back on the rota. Prestwick is still £100.00 plus to play despite not holding it for over a century???

Porthcawl, Portrush - the town and the course would benefit for years down the line.
 

sydney greenstreet

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

If there was to be change i would not want the change to be from a Links course to another type, I only see 2 reasons to hold the Open.
1 Links Course.
2.Infrastructure.
Now anywhere in the British isles this could be held as long as it can accomodate 1 and 2.
 
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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

I'm pretty sure that the R&A are constantly monitoring various other courses but they won't take the championship to any course they don't deem to be worthy. I've played Porthcawl a few times, decent track but not up to the test. Geographically, the best place would be somewhere on the east coast but there isn't a course that is up to standard. You need a track that is at least 7000 yards or the big boys will rip it to shreds unless the R&A trick the course up and nobody wants to see that.

The only courses that I can see that would be suitable are Trump's place (Scotland again), Portrush or RCD.
 
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thecraw

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

I think it should be a mixture of 3 things, the R&A should pay for any course improvements and something towards infrastructure.

The local council for some of the infrastructure and the course should also.

After all, they will probably add on 30-40% for future green fees, as they are now on the rota (on a loan spread over 10 years, I am sure they would be better off).

The town would also be better off in the future due to extra tourism, especially golfers.

Look at Royal Liverpool (before getting back on the rota) whose green fees probably doubled over 10 yaers once they were back on the rota. Prestwick is still £100.00 plus to play despite not holding it for over a century???

Porthcawl, Portrush - the town and the course would benefit for years down the line.

Firstly, its not down to the R&A to increase and improve infrastructure, that's down to the local authority. As per Turnberry, it was indicated that they wished to return to the Ayrshire links. As such a plan was put in place with the Scottish Executive and other funding partners for road upgrades etc.

If the R&A indicate that Portrush, RCD etc were to be awarded an Open should they improve the transport links, hotels etc then its down to the local community and local government to decide if its worth the investment for the return.

From my experience of Portrush the roads would need a huge investment to bring it up to scratch. Also do you really want the courses to price us out of a game by increasing fees by 30-40%???

Also Prestwick is a golfing mecca like St Andrews, its where the Open began. Its the birthplace of the most historic tournament in the world. Its also a fantastic golf course.
 

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

If you look on google maps you can see that Porthcawl is near the M4 so there are par and ride possibilities and it has adjacent fields which could house the tented villages and media infrastructure. That said I have no idea whether the course although 7000yards us big enough to house >100000 spectators.

I hope trump never gets an Open but if a new purpose built course is likely to be well received by the R& A what other options does this present ? Are there any other links development possibilities in England and wales to rebalance the geographic limitations of the present rota ?
 

Doon frae Troon

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Re: Why the R&A need to look at their Open venue bias and how should they do it

Prestwick is a no no.
The Pros would rip it to pieces and there is no additional land for the tented village.

Dundonald is a far better option but it needs a lot of work on the quality of the course surrounds. Greens, tees and fairways are good but the rest needs to mature a bit. Huge areas for additional bits, with a quiet service road next to the dual carriaged A78. Irvine and Troon railway stations not far away.

Best shout for a new venue IMO but probably not too popular with the green eyed Southerners
 
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