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Preparing For The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale

The Open Championship returns to Royal Birkdale in July 2017 which will be the 146th Open Championship. Once again the worlds' greatest golfers will gather to do battle for the famous Claret Jug on the West Coast of England over one of the country's finest links courses.

Work has started in and around Southport as Sefton prepares to host the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale.

Extensive planning has been carried out ahead of the Championship as more than 200,000 are expected to attend the July spectacle.

Some work has already started on Birkdale Common meaning restricted access and parking on the site. This includes the widening of entrances, clearances of trees and scrub, laying of fibre optics and a new road infrastructure.

Alternative routes have been created to allow the use of the Common for as long as possible and information boards will give further information to local residents and users of the site.

Other welcome and road signs will be springing up in the run up to the Championship and some parks are being prepared for park and ride facilities.

Sefton Council and the Southport BID team have also been preparing toolkits for local businesses with Sefton keen to promote any job opportunities for local people.

The Championship will take place from July 16-23 at Royal Birkdale and The R&A will soon be delivering information leaflets to nearby properties by the course explaining how the event may affect them.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader at Sefton Council, said: “To host a tournament of this magnitude, a huge amount of time and effort needs to be dedicated to prepare for the influx of hundreds of thousands of visitors to the borough.

“Work has now started in and around Southport making sure the infrastructure is all in place as we put the borough in the global spotlight.

“Being ready will ensure we use The Open to really boost our local economy, grow employment opportunities and ensure our businesses reap the benefits of hosting one of the largest sporting events in the world.

“We want the world to see we are very much open for business and for everyone to marvel at all our assets and fantastic coastline which forms part of Royal Birkdale’s famous links course.

“Obviously there will be some minor disruptions for local residents but this will be far outweighed by the enormous volumes of positive profile the Championship will generate for Sefton.

“We want 2017 to leave a golfing legacy with as many people as possible from across Sefton getting involved in this wonderful sporting spectacle. It also ties in with 2017 being the Year of Sefton’s Coast with us celebrating everything surrounding our unique coastline.

“We will support local residents as much as possible in the run up to the Championship and hope they along with the many local businesses really get behind The Open.”

2017 will mark the tenth time the Open has been at Royal Birkdale. Past champions include Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino and Johnny Miller. Ireland’s Padraig Harrington won by four shots from Ian Poulter the last time the Championship was played there in 2008.

The club, which was formed in 1889, has also held the Ryder Cup, Walker Cup, Women’s Open and the Curtis Cup. Located in Southport, Lancashire, Birkdale features some of the most impressive dune formations in England. The course was designed with fairness in mind– the fairways at Royal Birkdale are mostly flat, thus avoiding the need for blind play or unfair bounces. The par-5 15th is Birkdale’s longest hole and one of the most heavily bunkered on the course.

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