Why you should watch The Open over The Ashes

We assess the reasons why The Open has to trump The Ashes

watch the open
Michael Vaughan and Shane Warne in action on The Old Course
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether it’s to watch some action in the rain, or see an Aussie thrive on British soil, The Open has to take priority over The Ashes

Unless you’ve had your head well and truly buried in the proverbial sand for the last month, you’ve undoubtedly heard that The Open is back at the Home of Golf for its first visit in five years.

It’s also highly likely that you’ve noticed that some slightly larger balls are due to be bowled at the Home of Cricket, some 460 miles south of St Andrews, on the very same weekend during the second Test of The Ashes.

So, the question has to be asked, do you tune in to watch 22 men in a circle playing catch, or flick over a few channels to enjoy 156 athletes trying to tame the elements using the best of their brains and brawn?

Joe Root or Jordan Spieth?

Lords or the Old Course?

Sky Sports or BBC?

The Ashes Urn or the Claret Jug?

We know our answer. Here's our reasons why we'd rather watch The Open...

The Open wont stop for a bit of rain

If the heavens open during the five day Test at Lords, the covers come on and the two teams will hide away inside the pavilion and wait for the drizzle to pass over while they enjoy some afternoon tea. Head north over the boarder to The Open and if it's blowing a hoolie and lashing down sideways play will go on regardless. That gives us the chance to make our own afternoon tea, and then sit back and watch the carnage unfold.

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson waits under an umbrella on the tee at Hoylake

Overpriced and sold out? Not at The Open

Want to head to Lords and watch your team in action on home soil? Sorry, you're too late, the tickets, which cost over £100, are already sold out. Want to watch the golf? You can buy a ticket for Sunday's final round for £80 on the gate. Once you're in you're not restricted to a tiny seat with no legroom for eight hours either, you can wander wherever you heart pleases, getting within feet of the action, or relaxing in the tented village with a pint and some fish and chips.

No overrated Aussies

The Australian contingent at The Open are among the best players in the world, with Jason Day especially looking build on his T9 at the US Open, and Adam Scott hotly tipped to do well with Steve Williams back on the bag. Down at the cricket, well lets see how they get on after the embarrassment of Cardiff...

Warning: Both The Open and The Ashes are liable to a good old fashioned Aussie collapse, but here's hoping it doesn't happen again to poor old Adam Scott.

Jason Day

Australian Jason Day will be looking to improve on his T9 from the US Open

You can play the Old Course

Inspired by what you see at The Open? You can turn up and play the Old Course for £170 before the end of September, for £120 in October, and just £80 over the winter. Want to bowl an over or fire a six over the boundary at Lords? Unless you're a professional cricketer you'll need to shelf those dreams...

Related: How to play the Old Course

Make the most of the opportunity!

The home of English cricket holds a few Tests every year, giving you the chance to enjoy the rain delays and occassional action quite often. In comparison, the likes of Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott only grace the historic Old Course every five years, and as Rory McIlroy's ankle injury has proven, you never know when they might next be back.

You can watch The Open for free

We've mulled over the recent announcement that the 2016 Open will be the last on the BBC in various pieces on the Golf Monthly website, but whichever way you look at it, this year will be your last chance to enjoy the world's finest tackling the Old Course for free (on BBC Sport and BBC iPlayer) or for a very cheap alternative on your TV via the licence fee. In contrast, The Ashes will set you back a monthly Sky Sports subscription of £70+ per month, and will be on the air for far less hours per day. Surely another obvious reason you should watch The Open?

Jake O'Reilly specilaises in equipment coverage, and joined the Golf Monthly team in 2013. Before this he graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a Sports Journalism and Media degree, and worked at a number of British golf magazines. Follow Jake on Twitter @jake0reilly