Council to question R&A over Open ‘no readmissions’ policy.
Fears new ‘security’ policy could hit traders in Angus town next year
Angus Council is to raise concerns about the possible introduction of a ‘no readmissions’ policy at next year’s Open golf tournament in Carnoustie at its next planning meeting with the R&A.
The Courier revealed last week that the golf authority will not allow people to leave the course and then gain re-entry at this year’s Open at Royal Birkdale, which starts on Thursday.
The R&A said the policy was a result of security concerns and would be reassessed at the conclusion of this year’s tournament.
However, Carnoustie councillors and businesses are anxious that the Angus town sees a tourism boost from the thousands of visitors at next year’s tournament.
Now Angus Council has responded to the concerns and said it will pursue the issue with the R&A.
A council spokesperson said: “We meet regularly with the R&A to discuss planning for the Open.
“As part of our discussions about marketing of the area and potential legacy projects, we will be raising this issue.”
Businessman David Valentine, who owns Simpsons of Carnoustie golf shop, has called for the R&A to reverse the policy.
He said: “When I used to be the head of economic development for Angus Council, the council always did its level best to get a business benefit for the town.
“We must put the onus on the council and the Links Management Committee to get this right for the town because the golf courses belong to the town.”
Carnoustie councillor David Cheape, who sits on Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee, said the policy would mean golf clubs and other businesses in the town would suffer.
He said: “I believe there are two reasons for the R&A initiating this policy. One relates to security concerns and the other relates to external hospitality outwith the course which has been increasing year by year and reducing a traditional form of income to the R&A.”
A spokesman for the R&A said arrangements would be reviewed following this year’s championship with security one of the key considerations.
The Open was last staged at Carnoustie in 2007.