New view of oldest Major

Golf fans will be able to watch every bit of action in the run-up - and the 2012 Open Championship itself - without leaving their favourite armchair.

It follows the launch of the redesigned official website of golf’s oldest Major - TheOpen.com - which boasts a host of new features offering the best possible online coverage of the event.

Fans can view live action with the popular three-hole channel, go behind-the-scenes, keep track of scores, social media feeds and the latest breaking news all on TheOpen.com homepage, so there will be no excuse for missing a single shot at Royal Lytham and St Annes this summer.

The improved website is part of an increasing online presence that includes Android and Apple (iOs) apps as well as regularly updated year round Facebook and Twitter feeds, meaning followers can keep up-to-date no matter where they are in the world.

The R&A’s communications director, Malcolm Booth, said: “TheOpen.com has been designed to ensure fans have the essential information they need – up-to-date scores, live action and the best of social media – all instantly available on the homepage.

“The Open is about much more than four days in July. Fans can follow qualifying in Asia and the USA before final qualifying in Britain in June and July.”

Over the coming months a host of new features will be introduced to help both on-course spectators and armchair fans plan their personal Open experience well in advance.

With qualification for the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham already under way, the new site will chart the build-up with live scoring, video highlights, photo galleries and interviews from international, regional and local final qualifying.

International final qualifying (IFQ) events for the Open were introduced in 2004 and are held on five continents to give more players from around the world the chance to gain direct entry into the championship proper. Events have already been held for Australasia and Africa, while to come are Asia (March 1-2), America (May 21) and Europe (June 25).

Fans can monitor who has made it into the final field of 156 golfers, with individual player profiles along with the latest news, blogs and exclusive in-depth features. Visitors can also delve into the archives, read reports on all 140 previous championships and view footage from Opens dating as far back as 1914.