It would be good to hear what you think about Nick Rodger's article in the Herald. Many lovers of the Open think it drives home the case for golf's governing body to think again. The R&A's new "no-readmissions" policy is certainly not in the best interests of the spectators who have come to enjoy the charms of the host town almost as much as the golf itself. By corralling paying guests on course for ten or more hours each and every day will erode one of the world's great sporting events and make it unaffordable for many of the Open fans especially juniors. Do you think the R&A should think again?
Generations of Open fans have come to enjoy what is without question one of the world's greatest sporting events. But fans look forward to soaking up the atmosphere off-course as much as on it. Having a relaxing stroll through the town for a welcome change of scenery or a healthy and affordable meal at one of the town's great eateries is all part of the fun.
No wonder local businesses are up in arms after hearing the R&A go on and on about how their new policy is designed to guard against so called "unofficial" and "inferior" off-course hospitality. What a slur on the town and its very fine pubs and eateries where visitors can enjoy a healthy meal at a fraction of the cost. Yes it is all about the money and not at all about safeguarding the best interests of the spectators. So who is kidding who?
The Chairman of the Carnoustie Community Council Arliss Rhind, hit out hard last week by saying in a report in The Courier (13th December) that Open fans will be "held hostage" at the 2018 event. He added “This policy makes a mockery of any boasts that The Open will bring major financial and business opportunities to Carnoustie.
“How can businesses in town benefit if the R&A hold thousands of golf fans and visitors hostage within the confines of the Championship course all day, with no incentive or opportunity to spend a bit of time in the town itself?
Many local people have spoken out against the new policy no doubt mindful that Carnoustie Links actually belongs to the towns residents having been purchased by public subscription 125 years ago. Many have spoken out already against the new policy. Of course some members of the Links Management Committee seem to have forgotten the courses were purchased for the benefit of the town's tourist trade as well as to preserve the courses for golfers.
The new Chief Executive of the Carnoustie Links who was recruited from the ranks of the R&A, is quoted in today's Courier (19th December) as saying that local people and businesses should see the "big picture" benefits of having the prestigious golf tournament coming to the town. He is reported as saying that the Open brings benefits all year round and that is certainly true. However he seems to have forgotten that local businesses and golf clubs are fighting for survival and that the Links is using public money to compete with them and keep all of the benefits on their side of the road. No wonder local businesses and townspeople generally are fed up with broken promises that the links will work with everyone and focus on getting benefits for the High Street when in practice the Links takes every opportunity to keep it all.
The original official golf pro shop at Carnoustie was established in 1883 by the Dalhousie Club i when 20 yr old Robert Simpson was employed a custodian of the already famous Carnoustie links. He established his business in the first Simpsons Golf Shop on Links Parade - a few steps along Links parade from where the shop stands today. In his new job Bob was responsible for the operation of the already famous Links. In fact golf in Carnoustie revolved around the Simpsons golf Shop which was if you like the original official golf pro shop - the first truly official Carnoustie golf pro shop.
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