IN 15 years working on the Women’s British Open Ross Hallett has overcome a variety of obstacles and challenges to staging one of the world’s top events.
But the idea of embracing the patriotic fervour sweeping the country on the back of the Olympics in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year threw up one or two more unusual items on his ‘to do’ list.
As tournament director, Ross is responsible for ensuring the event runs smoothly – both for the world’s best players and the spectators looking to enjoy their day at the golf.
The championship is making its first venture to Royal Liverpool and will feature a special Best of British day on the third day (Saturday), which left Ross searching for a brass band, a Queen lookalike and a Beatles tribute band to add to the unique occasion.
Players will be decked out in white, red and blue and organisers are hoping the spectators get in the swing by wearing the same colours.
“The Ricoh Women’s British Open is a lot more accessible for spectators,” he says, “and there is the opportunity to get closer to the action in a more relaxed atmosphere without needing to watch the players through crowds five or six deep.
“The activities planned for Best of British day will make it a fun occasion with a lot of the focus on families.
“As well as the traditional golf fan, we are hoping that Best of British day will appeal to people who may not have an immediate interest in golf but who are looking for a great day out and a new experience.
“The tournament is a great chance for all those who attend to get to know some of the world’s best players who are rarely seen in this country and admire the fantastic way they play the game.
“They might not be hitting the ball over 300 yards, but they are very straight, very skilful and a lot of club golfers will be able to relate to what they are watching.”
Hallett is delighted that courses of the stature of Royal Liverpool are now hosting the tournament.
“It is only right the best women golfers are playing on the best courses,” he adds.
“The enthusiasm and expertise shown by the club and local authority on Wirral has been great for the event.
“There has been a real feelgood factor in the local community and we are hoping to attract around 70,000 spectators to what promises to be a very exciting contest.”