Phones banned at Birkdale

Spectators have been advised that they will not be allowed to take their mobile telephones through the gates at the Open. The prohibition of phones was first employed at last year’s tournament at Carnoustie, and the policy was deemed to be a huge success by fans and players alike. Last year’s runner-up, Sergio Garcia, commented at the time: “It’s much better. I haven’t heard one phone out there. It’s definitely an improvement.”

Any spectator that does bring their phone to the course well have to leave it at one of the storage facilities by the course entrances.

Free lessons available for youngsters at Birkdale.

25 PGA pros will be on hand to give free lessons to aspiring golfers at the R&A junior golf centre at Birkdale next week. The scheme will run from Sunday 13th right through to Sunday 20th, and youngsters under the age of 16 are encouraged to turn up on the day, and book their free 15 minute lesson. The centre has proved to be extremely popular in the past, as it allows juniors the opportunity to see the world’s greatest players in action, and alsoreceive some free coaching.

Parnell Reilly, the PGA Captain commented: “”I remember when I was pro at Otley Golf Club, we always used to take a couple of the juniors to the Open for a day and their eyes were like saucers when they used to see the likes of Nicklaus, Player and Trevino.

The thrill they get is unbelievable and it will be the same at Birkdale with Mickelson, Monty, Poulter and Co.”

Open prize fund announced

The winner of next week’s Open Championship will take home a cheque worth £750,000, which equates to the same amount that Padraig Harrington won last year. In total, the prize fund will be £4.2m, which is equivalent to US$8.3 million, or €5.25 million. There is great incentive for players to perform strongly, as a place in the top 50 alone will see them take home at least £12,500.