The 150th Open returns to the Home of Golf this summer – and the championship is already set to break records.
The tournament will be the largest in history, with more than 1.3 million applications for tickets. 290,000 fans were successful in snapping up briefs for the landmark edition of the oldest major in golf.
It is the highest number of general admission tickets ever issued, smashing the previous record of 239,000 which was set in 2000.
Such is the scale of the operation, the R&A is working with the Scottish Government and its health advisors to ensure spectator safety.
The body has also revealed the tournament is expected to generate in the region of £200 million in economic benefits for Scotland.
“The 150th Open at St Andrews is going to be a momentous occasion for gold and this is clearly reflected in the extraordinary demand among fans to be part of this historic playing of the championship,” said R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers.
“We very much appreciate their passion and enthusiasm for the Open and are delighted that we will set a new attendance record that far exceeds the previous best set in 2000.
“The Open is a major global sporting event and its significance to St Andrews and Scotland is evident in the independent forecast which estimates that the championship will generate around £200 million in total economic benefit.
“We look forward to welcoming tens of thousands of fans from many countries around the world to St Andrews in July when they will enjoy a true celebration of golf at its historic home.”
Bosses at the R&A, along with VisitScotland and Fife Council, commissioned SIRC to carry out the independent economic impact assessment.
Around £100 million is expected to be generated by the staging of the championship, while a similar sum is predicted to come from additional destination marketing produced by global media exposure.
“The Open Championship is a brilliant opportunity to showcase Scotland as the home of golf on a global stage, in a historic year for the sport – with five major tournaments being hosted across five weeks this summer,” said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
“The news that this will be the largest championship ever staged is a phenomenal feat and reminds us of the enduring appeal of golf. The event, which will welcome visitors from across the world to Scotland, will also have an extremely positive impact on our economy, businesses and tourism industry.
“I am delighted the 150th Open is coming to St Andrews and I have no doubt that the championship will be a truly historic event.”
The R&A has also continued its commitment to making the Open more accessible and has allocated 20% of briefs to young people – including 20,000 under-16s who will go free.
This year’s practice days are also set to break records with 80,000 expected to attend, beating the previous 61,000 who visited Royal Portrush in 2019.