Lancashire is poised to accept an influx of around 150,000 golf fans from all over the world when the Open Championship starts at Royal Lytham and St Annes next week.

The Open was last staged at Lytham in 2001, where it inherited the name of ‘the Friendly Open’ because of the warm welcome afforded to visitors; something club officials and locals are determined to replicate again this year.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be hosting the 2012 Open Championship on the Lancashire Coast,” said Tony Openshaw, Marketing Director, Marketing Lancashire.

“Lancashire is renowned for the warm welcome we offer visitors and our aim is to retain the reputation we’ve earned as the friendliest Open destination on the rota.”

This year marks the eleventh time that Royal Lytham and St Annes has hosted the world’s oldest golf championship, with legendary American amateur Bobby Jones winning the club’s first Open in 1926.

“Lytham has always produced winners of genuine class and this is a record that is liable to be extended this year, with virtually all of the world’s best players included in the 144-man field,” added Openshaw.

“It’s just as well Lytham, St Annes, Blackpool and the surrounding area all enjoy an abundance of top-quality facilities because it’s going to be an extremely busy week.”

Accommodation is limited during the Open week. For further information, visit www.visitlancashire.com/open2012