The 150th Open at St Andrews is set to welcome a record-breaking 290,000 fans in July.
More than 1.3 million applications in the ticket ballot showcased an unprecedented demand to watch golf at the world-renowned Old Course.
The number would surpass the 239,000 spectators that witnessed Tiger Woods lift the Claret Jug, the more common moniker for the Golf Champion Trophy, for the first time at St Andrews in 2000.
The R&A, which alongside the United States Golf Association governs the sport of golf internationally, has focused on making the Championship accessible to young people. This year’s event at St Andrews has seen a record 20% of general admission tickets being allocated to fans under the age of 25, with over 20,000 children attending The Open for free through the ‘Kids Go Free’ initiative.
Even accommodation is part of the plan to attract young people and families, with the Open Camping Village proving the most popular option for the two groups. Some 3,650 visitors have already booked a place to stay on-site, with 40% being under the age of 25.
This year’s event is set to continue to shatter attendance records, with 80,000 spectators expected to attend the four practice days, surpassing the 61,000 total that attended the equivalent practice days at Royal Portrush in 2019.
Martin Slumbers, chief executive at The R&A, said: “The 150th Open at St Andrews is going to be a momentous occasion for golf and this is clearly reflected in the extraordinary demand among fans to be part of this historic playing of the Championship.
“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.”