Time’s running out for season-ticket discounts for the 2008 Open

If you fancy being present at one of the UK?s premier sporting events, for the entirety of the tournament ? for just £180 ? then get your skates on and visit www.opengolf.com or telephone +44 (0) 1334 460010.

There are just six days left to purchase your discounted eight-day season ticket for the 2008 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, with the offer closing on Thursday January 31. The £180 deal represents a saving of 40% when compared to daily ticket amounts for the four days of practice and competition at the Championship.

After the drama and excitement of last year at Carnoustie, the top form shown by Europe?s finest and the small matter of a Ryder Cup looming, it’s going to be a fascinating Open around what many argue to be England?s finest track.

The Championship runs from Sunday July 13 to Sunday July 20 with daily tickets during the four days of competition costing £55 each, although U16s will get in free of charge.

Ireland tops the table for golf popularity

One in 15 people in Ireland is an affiliated golfer according to KPMG?s annual Golf Benchmark Survey. That is a staggering 7% of the population and compares with 1.9% in England.

The report, which measures the business performance of golf courses across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMA), also revealed that average revenues for golf courses in the Middle East are three to four times higher than similar courses in Europe. Revenues in the Middle East average ?5.3 million, compared to say ?1.3 million in Ireland. Courses in Dubai are particularly impressive with the sports destination averaging ?7 million.

To find out more visit www.golfbenchmark.com where you can download the full report.

PGA sanctions the use of GPS rangefinders

Following extensive testing, the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland has sanctioned the use of GPS rangefinders in all its professional events this year.

After a high-profile pilot-scheme at the PGA?s prestigious Glenbrae Fourball qualifying rounds at Fulford GC in October of last year, the PGA took the decision that GPS systems can and do speed up the pace of play.

“I’m aware a number of traditionalists might well be appalled by this decision, but the evidence suggests that using rangefinders really helps improve pace of play so it is difficult to see why such a decision should be detrimental to the game,” said PGA chief executive Sandy Jones.

SkyCaddie is currently the Official Rangefinder of the PGA and welcomed the decision that means GPS systems will be used at events including the Irish PGA Championship, Scottish PGA Championship and the Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship.

Wales gears up for the Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup Wales has set up an annual series of seven summer events in the lead-up to the 2010 Ryder Cup. The tournaments, which include men?s, ladies’ and junior events, run from April through to September and are intended to transform the face of golf in Wales.

The headline act is undoubtedly the Celtic Manor Wales Open, which is being played on the TwentyTen Course, designed specifically to host the Ryder Cup. Last year South African Richard Sterne pipped home favourite Bradley Dredge in a thrilling finish.

For more information visit www.rydercupwales2010.com.

Dates for your diary

Ryder Cup Wales Welsh Open Young Professional PGA Champs
April 24-25, Bull Bay GC

The Celtic Manor Wales Open
May 29-June 1

Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open
June 13-15, Conwy GC

Ryder Cup Wales Challenge
July 24-27, Vale GC

Ryder Cup Wales 2010 Welsh Open PGA Championship
August 5-7, Royal St Davids GC

Wales Ladies Championship
August 14-17, Machynys Peninsula GC

Ryder Cup Wales 2010 Welsh National PGA Championship
September 2-4, Cyncoed GC