GOLF chiefs are already relishing a return to the Royal Lytham and St Annes after thanking councillors, staff and residents for their support in the highly-successful staging of the Open Golf this year.
Peter Dawson, chief executive of tournament organisers the R&A, said in a letter to Fylde Council: “Thank you for everything that Fylde Council did to make this year’s Open Championship such a great success.
“I can honestly say that we have never experienced such strong support from a local authority as we did this year. It was an absolute delight to work with you. I feel sure that we will be bringing the Championship back to Lytham St Annes just as soon as we can.”
The tournament attracted 183,000 visitors this year, provided a major boost to the Fylde economy.
Fylde Council leader Coun David Eaves said: “Everyone deserves thanks, from the council staff who got the area ready, to the businesspeople who rolled out a warm welcome and the residents who helped with the festive atmosphere and were very understanding about occasional parking difficulties.
“We’re particularly pleased that Mr Dawson has already said that he wants to bring the tournament back – it is worth a huge amount to the area in terms of income to local businesses and also raising the area’s tourism profile on a national and international stage. The University of Sheffield is still working on official figures on how much the tournament was worth financially to Fylde. I am confident they will be good figures.”