News24

Course for Open altered

2012-04-23 14:07

Lytham St. Annes - The course at Royal Lytham and St. Annes has been lengthened by 181 yards for this year's Open Championship, with all but two holes having been altered since the last time the tournament was held there in 2001.

Royal and Ancient Chief Executive Peter Dawson said on Monday that the total length of the course has increased to 7 086 yards, but that it will remain a par 70.

Dawson said the biggest changes were made to the seventh, 10th and 11th holes. The 10th is 52 yards longer compared to 11 years ago, while No 7 is 35 yards longer and has a completely new green. The 11th now measures 592 yards - 56 yards longer than last time.

The only holes that have not been changed are the par-4 fourth and par-3 12th.

"The course will still be a challenge for the modern player, and players will have to remember there are over 200 bunkers on Royal Lytham," Dawson said at a news conference.

Another major change is that spectators will be allowed to bring their mobile phones to this year's Open, which starts on July 19.

Royal and Ancient first banned mobile phones in 2007 at Carnoustie, but will adopt more relaxed rules for this year's tournament with designated sites where fans can use them.

"We have taken advice from the various tours and spectators, so we have taken the opportunity to reintroduce them (mobile phones)," Dawson said. "We had taken the decision reluctantly some years ago to ban them, and while we know it will not be easy for marshals, we are allowing them back on the course based on trust. Also, we are hoping there will be peer group pressure if people do use the phone in places where they shouldn't."

AP