The Open Championship

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Post by sirbenson on Sun 10 Jul 2016, 1:44 pm

First topic message reminder :

Congratulations to Henrik Stenson!


Last edited by sirbenson on Sun 17 Jul 2016, 6:54 pm; edited 9 times in total

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Post by navyblueshorts on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 4:37 pm

JAS wrote:....and here's another point, I know the area well and know the normal average price of hotel rooms. Last week most hotels in a 20 mile radius were charging between 4 and 10 (yes effing TEN) times their normal rate. THAT will put non local visitors off in their thousands. Having said that I've no doubt Eastern Fife, Southport, Edinburgh, Dundee & Eastern Kent hotels will do the same. So unless you live within an easily commute it IS prohibitively expensive.
Excellent point. That would definitely put people off, I've no doubt.
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Post by McLaren on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 4:39 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
JAS wrote:....and here's another point, I know the area well and know the normal average price of hotel rooms. Last week most hotels in a 20 mile radius were charging between 4 and 10 (yes effing TEN) times their normal rate. THAT will put non local visitors off in their thousands. Having said that I've no doubt Eastern Fife, Southport, Edinburgh, Dundee & Eastern Kent hotels will do the same. So unless you live within an easily commute it IS prohibitively expensive.
Excellent point. That would definitely put people off, I've no doubt.


Not if you earn the mega bucks Super_Realist does, at those prices he would practically be slumming it.
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Post by super_realist on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 4:42 pm

It's obviously not prohibitive though, as enough people seem to go, certainly in and around the projected figure.

Each venue will differ in how many they get, and other factors like weather play a factor, but there isn't a problem with people going to watch.

It's not the fault of the tournament organiser if local hotels start charging extra.

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Post by super_realist on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 4:47 pm

Mac, I don't earn "mega bucks". I've just got a normal professional persons salary, but even if I only earned 25k, it would still be enough for a day out at the Open if planned properly.

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Post by beninho on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 4:57 pm

super_realist wrote:Mac, I don't earn "mega bucks". I've just got a normal professional persons salary, but even if I only earned 25k, it would still be enough for a day out at the Open if planned properly.

Because you can easily travel, and could not need to pay for flights, hotels, and travel on top. Are you going to admit that for people wanting to travel from outside of a couple of hours drive, its pretty expensive to go to the open?

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Post by McLaren on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 4:59 pm

Super you very often respond saying "if only people did X properly" (for example with money, diet, exercise, other life choices) as if you live in a state of supreme competence from where you can hand it wisdom that would improve everyone else's existence.

Has it ever occurred to you that you may be suffering from some sort of narcissistic personality disorder?
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Post by Yadsendew on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 6:16 pm

Although almost impossible to quantify, I would be interested to know the demographics relating to the spectator figures. Having attended a few large golf events over recent years, I have noticed that (with the exception of the Ryder Cup and perhaps the Phoenix example) the balance seems to be more towards the older generation spectators. Similarly, this is something that I see with the membership at my club and when visiting other golf clubs.

Cost obviously has a major influence but perhaps a reducing fanbase might have something to do with it?

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Post by George1507 on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 10:49 pm

McLaren wrote:George

I think the field you are talking about tends to have some sort of crop in it.  Maybe the crop is worth more to the farmer than the R and A will pay them to use it as a car park every 10 years or so.




There wasn't any particular crop in that field (or fields really, I think there are actually 3 there) in 2013. There were a few TV trucks right at the top end of the top field, next to the 9th hole, otherwise nothing. I worked as a car park guy at an Open there in the 1970s and we could have fitted over 7000 cars in there. 2013 was the first time that field wasn't used as a general public car park, instead we all had to go to Drem, about 5 miles away and bus from there. Maybe it eased the traffic through Gullane, but it didn't help the pubs, shops and restaurants in the town. Those people were royally fed up.

It seems the R&A are making it as hard as possible for people just to turn up and watch the golf.

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Post by raycastleunited on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 11:33 pm


"You can't compare attendance in two different venues."

Why not? Why do you think the FA cup final is at Wembley and not Exeter? Surely it makes sense to host a major event in a convenient location that can accommodate a large number of people.

"Tickets for Troon were SIXTY pounds if you booked them before May 31, just as it was at St.Andrews last year (I had a pass for the week)"

£60 obviously still too much for Troon.

" whilst Phoenix might be able to cater for 200,000 plus, the likes of TOC, Carnoustie, Muirfield etc certainly are not, not even half of that, "

That's why I wrote 100,000 which is half of 200,000. It's just a guess, i didnt do a headcount the times I have been to the Open.

"Face it, there are plenty other reasons to talk about differences in attendances year on year than simple price, as that seems the only thing which remains fairly constant over time despite fluctuating attendances. "

Yes agree, but the R&A don't seem to be doing much about it, and cheaper tickets might help.

"British towns which hold the Open simply aren't designed to have an influx of 100k people per day. The infrastructure comparison with the likes of Phoenix is a completely different setting."

Yes agree again, maybe it's time for the stadium links constructed on Boris island in the Thames estuary haha.

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Post by super_realist on Thu 21 Jul 2016, 6:18 am

beninho wrote:
super_realist wrote:Mac, I don't earn "mega bucks". I've just got a normal professional persons salary, but even if I only earned 25k, it would still be enough for a day out at the Open if planned properly.

Because you can easily travel, and could not need to pay for flights, hotels, and travel on top. Are you going to admit that for people wanting to travel from outside of a couple of hours drive, its pretty expensive to go to the open?

No more expensive than it would be for me to go to Sandwich, Hoylake, Birkdale or a day out in Wimbledon, Ascot, Lords etc. Only St.Andrews, Muirfield and Carnousite are within easy reach for me.

Everything is more expensive if you don't live near, but 60/25 is reasonable pricing for tickets for 12 hours of golf.

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Post by super_realist on Thu 21 Jul 2016, 6:25 am

raycastleunited wrote:
"You can't compare attendance in two different venues."

Why not? Why do you think the FA cup final is at Wembley and not Exeter? Surely it makes sense to host a major event in a convenient location that can accommodate a large number of people.

"Tickets for Troon were SIXTY pounds if you booked them before May 31, just as it was at St.Andrews last year (I had a pass for the week)"

£60 obviously still too much for Troon.

" whilst Phoenix might be able to cater for 200,000 plus, the likes of TOC, Carnoustie, Muirfield etc certainly are not, not even half of that, "

That's why I wrote 100,000 which is half of 200,000. It's just a guess, i didnt do a headcount the times I have been to the Open.

"Face it, there are plenty other reasons to talk about differences in attendances year on year than simple price, as that seems the only thing which remains fairly constant over time despite fluctuating attendances. "

Yes agree, but the R&A don't seem to be doing much about it,  and cheaper tickets might help.

"British towns which hold the Open simply aren't designed to have an influx of 100k people per day. The infrastructure comparison with the likes of Phoenix is a completely different setting."

Yes agree again, maybe it's time for the stadium links constructed on Boris island in the Thames estuary haha.

Why would you compare two different venues with the same ticket price and then try and say ticket prices are the reason for reduced attendance?

It's like comparing Wembley to Stoke. Wembley (or St.Andrews in this case) has a greater capacity than Stoke (or Troon in this case)

Nothing to do with price, and the fact that Troon 2004 was only 3000 MORE than 2015 shows price is NOT a significant factor, as a change in attendance of 3000 is not significant at all.

If anything I would say Troon is worth MORE than St.Andrews as you get a better Open there.

Why do the R&A need to more people attend? Perhaps they believe that they have an optimum number getting through the gates? Perhaps more people would actually make it more difficult to traffic people round, keep secure, put too much strain on road networks etc. Perhaps too many people might make it too vulgar an event. Who knows, it's not our decision.

You can't just say it's too expensive, when the attendance for each venue with itself over the years is pretty much comparable.

Troon capacity is smaller than St.Andrews, R&A never expected it to be the same.

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Post by raycastleunited on Thu 21 Jul 2016, 1:51 pm

Super - You're absolutely right that logistics play a big role.

My point was that a lot of people seem prepared to spend £80 to go to St Andrews, but not to go to Troon, so it must be a less attractive venue. The drop in attendance is over 60,000 which has got to hurt.

I started off this debate by commenting that I thought the stands looked emptier than usual this year. If they built stands but they were half empty then they must have been expecting more people.

I have no idea what the R&A view as their optimum capacity. I suspect capacity is a theoretical number which they never get close to, there is no such thing as a sell out, they would just keep selling tickets (within reason).

I did the park and ride at Sandwich and there was a lot of space in the field. I was able to drive around doing handbrake turns just to annoy the golfwnkers in their golf shoes and volvos. laughing

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Thu 21 Jul 2016, 2:59 pm

Oh that was you was it Ray? It took Tarquin's man hours to get the mud out of his day jacket!

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Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 21 Jul 2016, 3:05 pm

If the grandstands were like the time I last went to The Open, only a few are reserved seating. In which case, could people just preferred to walk the course this year?

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Post by super_realist on Fri 22 Jul 2016, 8:02 am

raycastleunited wrote:Super - You're absolutely right that logistics play a big role.

My point was that a lot of people seem prepared to spend £80 to go to St Andrews, but not to go to Troon, so it must be a less attractive venue. The drop in attendance is over 60,000 which has got to hurt.

I started off this debate by commenting that I thought the stands looked emptier than usual this year. If they built stands but they were half empty then they must have been expecting more people.

I have no idea what the R&A view as their optimum capacity. I suspect capacity is a theoretical number which they never get close to, there is no such thing as a sell out, they would just keep selling tickets (within reason).

I did the park and ride at Sandwich and there was a lot of space in the field. I was able to drive around doing handbrake turns just to annoy the golfwnkers in their golf shoes and volvos. laughing

First of all, the expectations for different venues in terms of attendance obviously vary. Terrible major course or not, St. Andrews has a greater pull due to the perceived history of the game. You only have to walk round St. Andrews compared to walking round Troon to see that. Being 60,000 down on St.Andrews is irrelevant, because Troon isn't set up or capable of taking those extra numbers.

It ALWAYS gets more people attending, and it isn't due to price. St. Andrews has a bigger capacity than Troon, It's not comparing like with like. It's like saying that one Champions League final had 80,000 but the next has 50,000 and blaming it on Ticket Prices when it's the capacity of the venue which is the reason for the lower attendance. No one expects Troon to match the attendance of St.Andrews, because it isn't supposed to cater for that many because it physically can't, not just on the course, but all the other associated requirements. Yes, you could physically fit the same number on or around the course, but the key points is WHERE people want to view. Standing where you see nothing is not why you attend and that's why Troon doesn't set up to have as big an attendance, because it wouldn't be a good experience.

You may or may not know that St. Andrews has more ground around it than ANY course on the Open rota, given that it's surrounded on all sides by the Driving Range,  Jubilee, New and Eden courses which give all the infrastructure and logistics extra room to put stuff and leave more room for the grandstands on the course and positioned on others looking in. Troon doesn't have anywhere near that amount of space, so it doesn't get set up with the same number of Grandstands, so it can't possibly expect to host as many visitors. You can only compare Troon with Troon and they were only 3000 down on 2004, which given that they'd only anticipated getting 6000 more spectators than they got, isn't a bad projection given that the weather was wretched.

I don't remember Troon last time in 2004 as I didn't play at the time, but I did go to St. Andrews last year and there was way more and bigger grandstands there than in Troon this year.

Would cheaper tickets persuade more people to go? Who knows, perhaps Troon just doesn't grab the attention the way St.Andrews does. Maybe it wasn't marketed very well, maybe it's more difficult to get to.

Saying that, £60 for adults, and £25 for 16-21 year olds  and free for kids seems pretty reasonable. (there is also afternoon passes available on the door)

It's only 80 if you didn't book before May 31.

There were lots of spare seats at the Euro's this year too, was that too expensive, or is the draw of Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia etc not as big as that for other teams, a bit like St.Andrews to Troon?

Maybe reducing the price might have got more people through the door, maybe the Troon weather put a lot of people turning up and paying at the door off, I certainly wouldn't have wanted to be there all day in those conditions. People did the same during the bad weather at St.Andrews last year too, they stayed away, as did I, despite having a ticket, but it has a higher capacity than Troon anyway.

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