150th Open will be the biggest yet

The chief executive of The R&A believes the 150th Open at St Andrews will prove to be a “momentous occasion” for the sport of golf.

By Scott Inglis
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 11:15 am
The Old Course is set to host the 150th running of the Open Championship. Pic by Liam Allan/R&A/R&A via Getty Images

It was confirmed this week that a record-breaking 290,000 fans are set to attend at the Old Course from July 10-17 after demand for briefs led to more than 1.3 million applications in the ticket ballot.

It has resulted in the highest-ever number of general admission tickets being issued to fans.

The expected attendance for the summer major surpasses the previous high mark set at St Andrews in 2000 when 239,000 spectators watched Tiger Woods lift the claret jug for the first time.

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Martin Slumbers, chief executive at The R&A, said: “The 150th Open at St Andrews is going to be a momentous occasion for golf and this is clearly reflected in the extraordinary demand among fans to be part of this historic playing of the championship.

"We very much appreciate their passion and enthusiasm for The Open and are delighted that we will set a new attendance record that far exceeds the previous best set in 2000.

“The Open is a major global sporting event and its significance to St Andrews and Scotland is evident in the independent forecast which estimates that the championship will generate around £200 million in total economic benefit.

"We look forward to welcoming tens of thousands of fans from many countries around the world to St Andrews in July when they will enjoy a true celebration of golf at its historic home.”

The R&A says it is working closely with the Scottish Government and its health advisors on the planned attendance to ensure that everyone attending the championship can do so safely .

The R&A is continuing its drive to ensure the championship is accessible to young people and a record 20 per cent of general admission tickets have been allocated to fans under the age of 25, including over 20,000 children aged under 16 who will be attending free of charge thanks to the long-running Kids Go Free initiative.

The Open camping village continues to prove a popular accommodation option, particularly for families and young people, with around 3,650 visitors booking a place to stay on-site this year.