Council’s £50k to bring golf event to Porthcawl

Monday, 22 February 2016

By Philip Irwin

in Local People

Preparations are in full swing for the Royal Porthcawl Golf Club to host the Senior Open Championship again next year, and Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) will be contributing £50,000 towards the running of the event.

Cabinet members from BCBC have agreed the funding which will cover costs associated with highways services, local marketing, school roadshows in partnership with Golf Development Wales, and providing an open top bus to link the town centre with the golf course.

A BCBC spokesman said: “Having hosted the championship successfully in 2014, the aim is to provide an even better experience for the thousands of golf fans who will be welcomed to the famous links course from July 27-30, 2017.”

The 2014 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex was one of the most well attended in the championship’s history, with more than 43,000 spectators lining the Porthcawl fairways over four days to watch Bernhard Langer win the title for a second time.

But the ambition is clear – to establish Royal Porthcawl as a venue that is capable of hosting the even more prestigious Open Championship within the next decade.

Coun Mel Nott OBE, the Leader of BCBC said: “We are pleased to confirm this funding and show our support for the 2017 Senior Open Championship. The open top bus proved to be an extremely useful service to ferry fans between the town and the course, so we are particularly happy to fund that once again.

“Whether you are a golf fan or not, this is an event that the whole community should get behind as it helps to put Bridgend county borough on the map and brings significant economic benefits to the local economy. In 2014, local volunteers, residents and businesses showed fantastic support and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to our corner of the golfing world again next year.”

The 2014 championship generated an estimated £2.16m for the local economy, including approximately £1.1m being spent on accommodation, £785,000 spent in shops and cafes, and £275,000 spent by event organisers on local services. Comprehensive TV coverage was calculated as being worth £5.2m.

Coun Nott added: “Golf can be used as a major hook to attract visitors to Bridgend county borough. We are aware of the improvements that need to be made in order to host an Open Championship here, and that is the ultimate goal.”

Some of the biggest names in golf played in 2014 including Colin Montgomerie, Ian Woosnam, Tom Watson, Fred Couples and Miguel Angel Jiminez.

The Welsh Government reached an agreement with the European Senior Tour and The RA for three Senior Open Championships to be played in Wales between 2014 and 2024.

Prior to hosting The Senior Open Championship, Royal Porthcawl hosted the Coral Welsh Classic on The European Tour three times between 1980-1982, and the Wales Senior Open in 2009, 2010 and 2013, as well as the 1995 Walker Cup, featuring Tiger Woods, when Great Britain and Ireland beat the USA by 14-10. Royal Porthcawl will also host the Amateur Championship this year.

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