Scottish golf fans to be part of ticket ballot for 150th Open at St Andrews
A ticket ballot is to be implemented by the R&A for the first time for next year’s 150th Open Championship at St Andrews.
The unprecedented step for the game’s oldest major has been taken due to an expected huge demand to attend the historic occasion.
A special commemorative brand has also been launched to mark the start of the countdown to the eagerly-anticipated event in the home of golf.
According to the R&A, the introduction of a ticket ballot is deemed the “fairest” and “most-equitable” way of ensuring golf fans around the world have the chance to secure their place at the tournament.
The ticket ballot will run from 1 July to 4 October, with the aim to deliver a “balance” of allocations from all over the world, as well as throughout the UK and the local area.
Martin Slumbers, the R&A’s chief executive, said: “This is a momentous occasion for golf as well as The Open and one which sports fans everywhere are looking forward to enormously.
“The 150th Open will give fans the opportunity to be part of a unique and unparalleled celebration at the birthplace of the game in St Andrews.
“We expect exceptional demand to be part of these celebrations and the ballot will give as many fans as possible the chance to secure a ticket and be part of history being made at one of the world’s most revered and renowned sporting events.”
Ticket prices for the 150th Open will be £95 - £5 more than Royal Portrush in 2019 but the same as this year’s event at Royal St George’s - for an adult on championship days and will range from £20 to £50 on practice days.
Weekly tickets, which offered great value for money, are being discontinued to give “as many people as possible” a chance to attend the event.
Free tickets will be available through a ‘Kids Go Free’ programme, while half-price youth tickets will be on sale for 16-24-year-olds.
To enter the ticket ballot, people will have to sign up to ‘The One Club’, the R&A’s free-to-join membership programme, at www.TheOpen.com.
The 150th Open logo is made up of individual threads that each represent the millions of journeys connected to the Claret Jug event, emphasising the campaign’s central message that ‘everything has led to this’.
In 2015, the last time the tournament was held in St Andrews, the total crowd was a record 237,000, with tickets being sold on that occasion on a first-come, first-served basis.
A capacity will be set for next year’s event, but that has still to be determined.
The 150th Open had been scheduled to take place this year before being pushed back 12 months due to the 2020 edition at Royal St George’s being cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Preparations are now well underway for this year’s event at the Kent course, with the R&A hoping to have as many as 30,000 fans per day in attendance, though it is likely they will have to wear face masks.