Open trade delight

Australian Greg Norman (far right) completes his practice round at the 18th green in front of the Royal Lytham & St Annes Clubhouse, Wednesday 18th July, 2001. Two-time Open champion Greg Norman has withdrawn from this year's championship for "personal reasons". See PA story OPEN Norman. PA Photo: Rebecca Naden
Australian Greg Norman (far right) completes his practice round at the 18th green in front of the Royal Lytham & St Annes Clubhouse, Wednesday 18th July, 2001. Two-time Open champion Greg Norman has withdrawn from this year's championship for "personal reasons". See PA story OPEN Norman. PA Photo: Rebecca Naden
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FEARS that crowd restrictions might affect local trade when the world’s biggest golf competition comes to town this summer have been allayed by the Open organisers.

Businesses owners in St Annes are celebrating the prospect of a major boost to the local economy after the Royal and Ancient confirmed that passouts for spectators would be allowed during the tournament, after being refused last year.

It means golf fans will be free to come and go from the sporting action as they please – and have the chance to spend money in the town centre, just a few minutes’ walk away.

Passouts have been allowed at previous Opens at Royal Lytham – the most recent in 2001 – but fears that might not be the case this year were raised by traders and Fylde Council officials after spectators’ movements were restricted when the event was held in Kent last summer.

Those attending the Open at Royal St George’s were not allowed to leave and re-enter the course after they had paid for admission and St Annes traders feared the same fate.

But tournament organisers Royal and Ancient stressed that a ‘no passouts’ ruling was a rare event usually down to local conditions rather than any particular concerns over matters such as security.

Full story in this week’s Express.