Open spectators to get unique view of Royal Troon’s Postage Stamp
Timetable for the review of club’s male only membership policy yet to be announced
The Claret Jug in front of Royal Troon’s Postage Stamp. Photograph: Getty
Spectators at this year’s Open Championship will get a unique view of one of the most famous holes in golf, tournament officials have announced.
A wire camera will run the length of the par-three eighth hole at Royal Troon, known as the Postage Stamp, with cameras also placed in all five greenside bunkers on the 123-yard par three.
Rhodri Price, the R&A’s director of championship operations: said: “I have been desperate to put a wire camera on the course for years, but due to the playing conditions of golf in terms of ball flight, particularly from the likes of Bubba Watson, it is very difficult normally to place a wire camera on the course without it getting in the way of play.
“We recognise that, due to the short distance of the Postage Stamp, there was scope to get a wire camera in there on this iconic part of the golf course with the wonderful views.
“It will go all the way from the tee to a little winter green to left of the green. The Postage Stamp was screaming out to be a feature hole.”
Whether former champion Tiger Woods will be captured on camera there remains to be seen, although the 14-time major winner has already registered for June’s US Open.
Woods has until the middle of May to do the same for the Open, but an R&A spokesman said: “We’ve had no indication at the moment but obviously we would welcome any of the players and particularly Tiger Woods.”
A timetable for the review into Royal Troon’s membership policy is also yet to be announced, with scrutiny of the male-only membership policy of Troon and Muirfield increased after Royal St George’s voted in 2015 to admit women members. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews voted to end its 260-year-old male-only membership policy in September 2014.
Troon has always considered itself a special case in this respect as it shares facilities with the Ladies Golf Club, Troon, while both clubs will share the responsibility of hosting the Open via a joint Championship Committee.
In January 2015, Troon announced it would ”undertake a comprehensive review to consider the most appropriate membership policy for the future”, adding: ”The recommendations from this review will be presented to the membership for their consideration.“
An R&A spokesman said on Tuesday: “The review is under way and we await the outcome with interest. It’s important the club has the time to do this review thoroughly and in their own way. We have to give them the space to do that. It’s up to them to decide on the timescale.”
Muirfield, which is owned and run by The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, is also reviewing its membership criteria.
A total of 7,000 grandstand seats will surround the 18th green, with a new LED scoreboard and autograph zone for spectators under the age of 21 installed on the practice ground.
Spectators aged 25 and under will also be able to book free accommodation in the Open Camping Village, which will feature two, four and six-person pre-pitched tents along with inflatable camping beds, with 500 places available. Families can also use the facilities, with children under 16 required to be accompanied by at least one adult of any age, to a maximum of two adults.
It was also announced on Tuesday that David Lancaster, a former lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy, will become the new official starter of the Open, with former Royal Hong Kong police superintendent Matt Corker providing support.
They replace Ivor Robson, who retired at St Andrews last year after performing the role for 41 years.