Campaign Launched Against No Readmission Policy at The Open
Businesses and the Community of Carnoustie have been critical of the R&A's decision to continue its no readmission policy introduced at Royal Birkdale, for this year's Championship in Angus. Citing security and protecting spectators from ticket-touts, the governing body has irked local figures, who are concerned about the impact this will have on fans and establishments based outwith the confines of the Tented Village, which are now likely to miss out on significant custom.
However, a Petition has been launched for golfers to signal their disapproval of the policy, which has been declared a success by The R&A, whose Executive Director of Championships Johnnie Cole-Hamilton said: “The no readmission policy introduced at Royal Birkdale last year also proved an effective deterrent to these unofficial operators and was well received by more than 235,000 spectators who attended the Championship.”
With Carnoustie's Championship Course sat right alongside the town, many spectators may have taken the opportunity to walk into the centre during the day, before returning back to the golf course. Longer-term, this seems especially problematic for Open Championships in St. Andrews - home of The R&A - as the Old Course enjoys a glorious position near the town centre, and this policy will surely draw ire when the Open returns to the Home of Golf - likely in 2021.
As for this year's Championship, the Petition is seeking signatures, requesting that "the R&A allow fans with general admission and hospitality tickets to leave the Open course venue and re-enter the same day without having to pay again. This will restore the 150+ year old tradition of allowing paying fans to enjoy the full golfing spectacle of this wonderful event as well as the choice of enjoying the off-course atmosphere in all of the Open’s host communities."
David Valentine MBE, who launched the Petition, outlined the reasons in the following statement:
“Fans from across the world won’t know what the R&A’s “No-readmissions” policy means until they arrive in Carnoustie and find they can’t leave the course without paying again. That’s not good for the fans, its not good for the Open, and it’s not good for Carnoustie.
This petition gives paying fans everywhere the chance to be heard."
I feel the R&A have made a mistake by saying this new policy will guard against the "inferior" and "unofficial" off-course hospitality. This is a slur on the hundreds of excellent pubs, eateries and cafes in all the Open Rota venues including Carnoustie.
Everyone I meet says the policy is unfair because shopkeepers, club stewards, residents with young children, business owners and employees can’t afford to go on and off the course to take care of their family or work based responsibilities. So, the people who have worked hardest to make Carnoustie a great golfing destination will be hit hardest.
Thousands of fans will spend 10 hours or more on-course each day. Some will buy a weekly ticket or weekend bundle and only a privileged few can afford the on-course hospitality packages costing £420 or£900 per person. We must tell the R&A we want the freedom to stroll around the host town, visit local shops and cafes or enjoy an affordable sit-down lunch at a local pub or restaurant.
This petition gives Open fans everywhere the “people-power” to voice their opinion and ask the R&A to think again."
For more information on the Campaign and Petition, Click Here.
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