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The Open

Record crowd expected at Troon, with longest and shortest holes in Open history

April 30, 2024
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Ross Parker/R&A

The R&A expects a record attendance at Royal Troon for this year’s Open Championship.

In a meeting with the media on Tuesday, the governing body announced this year’s Open ticket allotment has sold out, with a crowd of 250,000 envisioned to visit Troon this summer. This would be an increase of 70,000 from the last time the claret jug came to the Ayrshire links, when Henrik Stenson defeated Phil Mickelson in a legendary final-round duel in 2016.

The quarter-of-a-million figure will be behind only the 150th Open at the Old Course in St Andrews in 2022 (the 290,000) and last year’s Open at Royal Liverpool (261,000) as the largest recorded crowds in Open history.

"It is a big increase and I think there’s been a huge amount done to try and make sure that the number we bring in is what the golf course can accommodate,” R&A director of communications Mike Woodcock said during the Open’s media day. “There is a lot of space out there and we’ve done a lot of work on the throughflow, pathways, spectator areas, etc.

“There’s been a lot of work done in the on-course areas to ensure that the fans can get around and enjoy good viewing areas. I think the viewing decks, grandstand seatings and so on that we’ve put in can accommodate it. I think you’ve seen at recent venues that the championship attendance has been increasing and, by and large, it has worked very well and it should be a great week here and a great atmosphere.”

Troon will also feature the longest hole in Open history. According to the R&A the sixth hole will measure 623 yards, which has been lengthened by 20 yards from 2016. A few holes laters competitors could play the shortest hole in Open history, as the “Postage Stamp”—weighing in just over 120 yards on the card—could be shortened to 99 yards depending on weather. Overall, nine new tees have been added to the venerable links, allowing for an increase of 195 total yards to the course, although Troon will not clip Carnoustie, which holds the title as the longest course in Open competition.

This will be Royal Troon’s 10th time hosting the Open. This year’s championship begins July 18. Brian Harman is the defending champ.