The Open Championship aiming to lead the way in technological advancements as they introduce big screens at every hole bar the 18th at Hoylake
The final hole will retain its traditional yellow scoreboard while a wifi mesh will surround the course to aid viewing on mobile devices
Thursday 24 April 2014
Open Championship officials have vowed to lead the way with new technology to enhance the experience of spectators at Hoylake this summer.
Ticket prices of £75 were blamed for a drop in attendance at Muirfield last year, but the R&A believes that figure still represents good value compared to other sporting events given the number of hours of play each day.
And a six-figure sum has been spent on hi-tech infrastructure aimed at allowing fans to see more of the action no matter where they are located on the course.
Large LED screens will be placed on each hole apart from the 18th, which will retain the iconic yellow scoreboard, with a wifi mesh again surrounding the course to allow fans to follow the action on mobile devices.
The R&A's director of communications Malcolm Booth said: "We think this is the most innovative technology at any golf championship in the world.
"We intend to lead the way on this technology moving forward. I used it at Muirfield last year and it worked well and we think in the next three to five years the technology is going to become extremely robust.
"The big challenge at a golf tournament is that you are only able to be at one hole at a time and we hope this allows spectators to keep up to date with what is happening around the course. We think the benefit is significant."
There will be seating for 20,000 spectators at Hoylake with a unique "horseshoe" structure of grandstands surrounding the 18th green.
Rhodri Price, the R&A's director of operations, added: "That's something we can't do at any other venue and we think it's a great chance to wrap the 18th and create a great atmosphere."
A total of 230,000 fans attended the last Open at Hoylake in 2006, which was won by Tiger Woods, with officials confident of large crowds again even if Woods is unable to play after undergoing back surgery earlier this month.
"There's no doubt that Tiger Woods' impact on the game of golf is huge and he is still a massive draw, but we've had Opens without him before in 2008 and 2011," Booth added.
"The Open has always drawn a great crowd and we are sure we will again this year. We saw huge novelty and excitement in 2006 when we returned for the first time since 1967 and so I think that created very, very high crowds. We don't anticipate the same 230,000 this year, but we expect around 200,000."
Do you qualify – and how do you get it?
The Mayor of London's sister, Rachel Johnson, apologises for shocking tweet about the PM
Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband
Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early
Latest in Sport
Phil Hughes head injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener fights for his life
Sam Wallace: Players of Suarez’s standing just don’t sign for clubs like Liverpool
Phil Hughes injury: Batsman had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich comment: Frank Lampard's part in City win shows folly of letting him leave
Schalke vs Chelsea: Roberto Di Matteo admits thrashing by former side was most painful defeat of his career
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 3 Black Friday 2014: Opening hours for John Lewis, Asda, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services