Spectator experience enhanced for the OpenApril 23, 2014 Golf Equipment
Technology will meet tradition at the 143rd Open Championship at Hoylake
Spectators attending July’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool will be able to watch a live BBC feed on their smartphones.
Wifi access will be available across the whole of the course with fans encouraged to download the Open Championship app that will enable them to keep up to date with the action.
Around 200,000 fans are expected to come to the Wirral across the week of the championship, which begins on Thursday July 17. The last time Hoylake held the event was in 2006, when 230,000 spectators flooded across the sun-baked links to see Tiger Woods win his third Claret Jug. It remains the last time the 14-time Major champion has won the Open and his participation this year is in doubt following his recent back surgery.
Just 142,000 fans came to Muirfield last year, a figure the R&A blamed partially on a heatwave. Ticket prices were perhaps a more salient factor.
"The last time Hoylake held the event was in 2006, when 230,000 spectators flooded across the sun-baked links to see Tiger Woods win his third Claret Jug."
The course has changed little since 2006, with the club’s 17th and 18th holes once more being played as the 1st and 2nd for the Open.
It will measure 7,312 yards and play to a par of 72. This is an increase of 54 yards, with the 2nd, 7th and 16th holes each playing at least 18 yards longer.
With this configuration, Hoylake is the only Open venue to finish on a par 5, and also the only one where a horseshoe stand can be built around the final green.
Holes 1 to 17 will each have electronic leaderboards next to the greens for the first, with the 18th retaining its traditional yellow scoreboards.
Phil Mickelson will be the defending champion at Hoylake, after winning at Muirfield last summer.