Is The Open Championship Heading To Wales?

Wales' Economy Minister is keen for The Open Championship to be staged in Wales for the first time

Wales' Economy Minister is keen for The Open Championship to be staged in Wales for the first time

Is The Open Championship Heading To Wales?

With Cardiff hosting the 2017 Champions League final, is it time for The Open Championship to be staged in Wales?

That's the hope of Wales' Economy Minister Ken Skates.

Skates told BBC Wales: “I think there is great potential to host new major events that have not yet been to Wales.

"We have had productive conversations with the organisations behind these events.”

Related: 10 top golf courses in Wales

He was also eluding to the Tour de France cycling.

The Open Championship has taken place in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but never Wales.

The country has hosted the Ryder Cup as well as the Welsh Open, which hasn't taken place since 2014.

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club Course Review open championship heading to wales

The 18th hole at Royal Porthcawl

Royal Porthcawl in Bridgend, which last year hosted the Amateur Championship and is the venue for this year's Senior Open Championship, would be the preferred venue.

Related: Royal Porthcawl GC course review

Skates told the BBC, "There are opportunities to host more golfing events and I'm keen to discuss with the R&A the potential of Wales to host the British Open.

"I think it is right that if we call it a British Open that it should be hosted in Wales and I'm to keen to make sure that discussions take place with the R&A on that.

The 451 yards, par 4, 2nd hole at Royal golf courses in Wales open championship heading to wales

The 451 yards, par-4, 2nd hole at Royal Porthcawl. (Getty Images)

"I'll be meeting with The R&A again this summer to discuss how we take forward the potential of a British Open being staged in Wales. I think it is our time," he said.

Related: The forgotten Open Championship venues

However, in July 2015 the R&A said they did not have "any intention" to take The Open to Wales.

An R&A spokesman told the Press Association this week: “We are happy with the 10 courses on the rota and have no plans to make any changes.”

open championship heading to wales

Bernhard Langer won the Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in 2014. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)

Royal Porthcawl would need expanding if it were to host The Open in the future.

Back in 2014, when it first hosted the Senior Open, it held 43,000 spectators, far fewer than the 175,000 fans at Royal Troon last year for the 145th Open Championship won by Henrik Stenson.

Porthcawl without doubt has the quality of golf course to host an Open, ranking at #22 in our UK&I Top 100, but would need lengthening slightly from just over 7,000 yards up to 7,200 and beyond, and it, as well as the local area, would also need the infrastructure in place to cope with the traffic that comes with an Open Championship.

Could it happen? Why not! Let us know your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.