Southport is busy preparing to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to the borough for The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale.
Millions of pounds is set to boost the local and regional economy as Sefton hosts the Championship at Royal Birkdale in July, 2017.
More than 200,000 people are expected at the global sporting event at one of the finest links courses in the UK and February 16 marks the 150th day until the practice rounds tee off.
It is the tenth time Royal Birkdale will host The Open and preparations are well underway to welcome sports fans from across the world to Sefton and the wider Liverpool City Region.
Royal Birkdale last hosted The Open in 2008 and the links course forms part of England’s Golf Coast which also includes many other Sefton golfing venues.
Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader at Sefton Council, said: “A lot of work has already taken place as we prepare to welcome the world’s best golfers, thousands of visitors and the many millions more watching on TV to our fabulous borough.
“We want to ensure we use The Open to really boost our local economy, grow employment opportunities and ensure our businesses reap the benefits of hosting one of the largest sporting events in the world.
“This really is an opportunity to put Sefton and the City Region in the global shop window with millions of pounds set to swell the local and regional economy.
“We want the world to see we are very much open for business and for everyone to marvel at all our assets and fantastic coastline which forms part of Royal Birkdale’s famous links course.
“Events like The Open attract enormous volumes of positive profile and we are determined we really tap into this.
“We want 2017 to leave a golfing legacy with as many people as possible from across Sefton getting involved in this wonderful sporting spectacle. It also ties in with 2017 being the Year of Sefton’s Coast with us celebrating everything surrounding our unique coastline.
“July 2017 may seem a long way off but it will be here sooner than people think. Let us all really get behind the event and make Sefton proud and the perfect hosts.”
The famous Royal Birkdale course was first established in 1889, but was extensively redesigned in 1922 by Fred Hawtree and JH Taylor to create the current layout, which winds its way through the sand dunes towering over each of the fairways.
Since first hosting The Open in 1954, the course has been (alongside Royal Lytham) the most regular venue for the Championship other than St Andrews. At Birkdale’s first Open, Peter Thomson won the first of three in succession; he returned to the same course in 1965 to add his fifth and final title.
Practice days are from July 16-19 with the Championship running from July 20-23. For ticket information go to TheOpen.com/Tickets or call The Open Ticket office on 01334 460010.