The Open Championship went to Northern Ireland for the first time in 68 years and it was a huge success
Should Royal Porthcawl Be The Next ‘New’ Open Championship Venue?
Technically it wasn’t a new venue but it hadn’t hosted since 1951 and the reception it got from the golfing world was almost universally positive.
The Open Championship went away from the norm and that resulted in an incredible atmosphere, a wonderful golf course and a fully sold out tournament.
So, if the R&A wanted to take the tournament to another new area, where would it be?
The Golf Monthly team of Neil Tappin, Elliott Heath and Tom Clarke discussed it on our recent Open Championship Review podcast.
We’ve discussed this a bit this week.
Let’s pose the question ‘If you were on the R&A’s championship committee and you were in charge of those rota venues – would you put a new venue on the rota, if so where would it be?’
I said I would like to see Royal Porthcawl on the Open rota.
It would be the first golf course in Wales to host the Open.
It’s a short hit from Bristol, Bath, Cardiff, Birmingham and London only two hours away.
And it’s a fantastic golf course with beautiful views and when you see what’s happened this week with the excitement, the whole town and the people of Ireland have had by having this event here, then maybe opening the doors and giving it to somewhere else and saying ‘What would you do with these great championship? How are you going to stamp your character on this great championship?’
I think that Royal Porthcawl could be a venue that would excite people in a very similar way to Portrush.
They’ve built tunnels for Portrush, they’ve built new holes, they’ve invested in it and that’s what I think they can do with Wales.
I know people would say ‘Oh but they don’t have the infrastructure’ but you’ve got 7 or 8 years until this would happen. Go and make it happen.
Go and find car parks, find infrastructure, build new things, invest. It would pay off.
The Open coming to Portrush has needed a few things.
Obviously Northern Ireland have suddenly had these amazing amount of golfers that have done well and won Majors. Wales don’t have that.
They’ve also had great help from secretaries here and some of the politicians even.
Whether Wales are in that same position, I don’t know at the moment.
TC & NT
At the moment I don’t see them changing it…neither do I.
All I’ll say is these things don’t happen quickly, it takes time.
If people are starting to, as a result of this week, talk about other places that could find themselves on the Open rota then maybe one day it might happen, who knows.
Because clearly the current crop at the R&A are looking at the future of the game that’s slightly different.
For their showpiece event they are looking to improve the experience, improve the offering and this has been so successful.
They’ve decided to go somewhere new and people have loved it. They’ve sold out, they’ve made so much money from the ticket sales, the shop etc.
Listen around the 50 minute mark for the new venue discussion –
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