Martin Slumbers: "Very Good Possibility" Of Fans At The Open

The R&A Chief Executive is optimistic about this year's Open at Royal St George's

fans At The Open
(Image credit: getty images)

The R&A Chief Executive is optimistic about this year's Open at Royal St George's

Martin Slumbers: "Very Good Possibility" Of Fans At The Open

R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers has said that there is a "very good possibility" that this year's Open Championship will be able to have fans.

The tournament is set to return this year after being the only men's Major to not take place in 2020.

Golf's oldest Major is due to be played in July at Royal St George's, with Slumbers telling Sky Sports News that "we will play The Open this year."

"We are certainly planning to stage The Open, but clearly at this point there are multiple scenarios," Martin Slumbers said on Sky Sports News.

"We are working with the government and health authorities, and it's certainly a lot more complex than staging a normal Open Championship.

"But we are going to do everything we possibly can to put on a great Championship for the country.

"I think there's a very good possibility we will be able to have spectators, but we will have to wait and see how many.

"We are balancing the health and safety of everyone involved, but I strongly believe The Open needs spectators.

"It will be really important to have some, but we want to make sure we do it smartly, intelligently and with due diligence."

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Slumbers also says he will be monitoring how The Masters goes, with Augusta recently announcing that a limited number of patrons will be allowed on-site.

"It's quite interesting. After this dreadful year that we have all gone through, collaboration and learning are two concepts that we're all picking up a lot more," he said.

"So, yes, I'm talking to my colleagues at Augusta, I'm watching, I'm learning and we are all doing that as we grapple what's going to be the 'new normal'."

Shane Lowry will defend the Claret Jug this year after winning at Royal Portrush in 2019.

Royal St George's will host the championship for the 15th time and first time since 2011, when Darren Clarke won his first Major.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5