Club captain casts doubt on Carnoustie's Open future

Carnoustie Leaderboard

The captain of Carnoustie Golf Club has questioned whether or not there is a future for the Angus links on the Open rota.

In an interview with BBC Radio Scotland, Bill Thompson said that “there should be some discussion” around using the course for future editions of an event that he says has become “a corporate machine”.

“There are roads closed, parking [issues], no cars allowed between 7am and 9pm – I think it’s changing the balance,” said Thompson. 

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“The balance was always that you’d put up with an element of disruption, a number of weeks with no play on the course and a number of weeks with less play. But for the first time, we’ve actually seen pieces of the golf course torn up for corporate hospitality tents.

“We’ve already lost several weeks of play and we will lose several more before they come back into play. There are 14,000 residents here. We’re not built for 40,000 or 50,000 people.

Carnoustie No 14

Carnoustie will host The Open for the eighth time in its history this week and the first since 2007. 

Whilst Thompson acknowledges the positive kickbacks that come with being on the Open rota, his comments appear to hint at some dissatisfaction with the championship amongst the club’s membership base. 

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“I think it’s difficult the venues will all want to have The Open because it’s a badge that brings business and, to be fair, allows the green fees to be set at a certain level,” he added. “But at the end of the day, this is a corporate machine and it’s run very, very professionally.  

 “There is very little input, very little communication. We are absolutely on the periphery of this tournament. When it goes away next week, we will be hopefully to try to re-baseline our business back to what we do which is looking after our members and welcoming any visitors.”

Should Carnoustie stay on The Open rota?

What are your thoughts on this story? Leave your opinions in our Comments section below.

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