It’s unheard of. This year’s Open at Royal Portrush was sold out by last September for all four championship days. The R&A – anticipating a huge influx of spectators for the first playing in Northern Ireland since 1951 – made a decision to make this an all ticket event, nothing on sale at the gates. The downside of this is that the tickets were snapped up very quickly and now the only days available are the Sunday to Wednesday practice days.
Disappointingly it seems that secondary ticket sites like Viagogo and Stubhub have bought up tranches of tickets with them now on re-sale at inflated prices. £80 tickets on sale for over £300. People buying these tickets are likely to be stung twice because the R&A have made it clear that spectators with tickets bought from secondary ticketing websites will be refused entry.
So what to do if you really want to go? Yesterday I received an email from The Open marketing department offering the prize of two season tickets for the winner who sent them the most original video of them celebrating winning The Open.
All very well. Until it dawned on me that I was one of the 15% of golfers who wasn’t actually eligible to enter the competition because by nature it was male only. No woman has ever competed in the Open Championship so how could a female celebrate winning it. The brief was to be as creative as possible. So, I thought, who was the most creative golfer ever to play in The Open? Not Mickelson, not Seve – I summoned on the man’s powers…
What would Maurice Flitcroft do?
See my post “Everyone’s Got To Start Somewhere” (April 2018). He was a master of disguise. Maurice Flitcroft wouldnt let a little thing like being barred by gender stop him, he would video himself on his mobile phone, landscape only please celebrating the winning putt – in drag. So for the 15% of golfers like me that’s your option to try and win tickets this way.
For the sensible, there are a couple of other options to see The Open live. Firstly, join The One Club and apply on the waiting lists. Or if you are inclined there are volunteering opportunities with Volunteer Now, from Tourism Northern Ireland – apply now on tourismni.com.
Let’s hope the R&A reconsider and go back to selling tickets on the gate next year, to make the championship open again, and most of all let’s not see a ballot system like the All England Club have in place for the tennis championships at Wimbledon.