Accessibility Guide

Welcome

For the first time since 1951, The Open returns to Royal Portrush Golf Club this year for the 148th edition of the Championship. The Open aims to provide an accessible spectator experience for individuals with disabilities. If you have any queries or require any assistance, please phone our Customer Service Team on +44(0)1334 460010 or email Tickets@TheOpen.com. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. We look forward to welcoming you to The 148th Open at Royal Portrush.

Ticketing Policy

The R&A enjoys welcoming all spectators to its events, and to help persons with disabilities to attend and enjoy The Open, the following ticketing policies are in place:

  1. Disabled spectators who require a carer to assist them are entitled to receive one free carer ticket to the event. The ticket for the disabled spectator will be charged at full price
  2. Disabled persons who require car parking at the event will be allocated a free car parking space

Both of the above are subject to availability.

Proof of Disability

In order to be eligible for a free carer ticket, spectators must provide proof of disability, with any one of the following forms of evidence accepted by The Open Ticket Office.

  1. Receipt of the mid (or high) rate care element or the high rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance or War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement
  2. Receipt of either the Severe Disablement Allowance or Attendance Allowance
  3. War Pensioners' Mobility Allowance or War or Service Disablement Pension for 80% or more disability
  4. Blind or partially sighted registration certificate (BD8 or CVI Certificate) or evidence from an eye specialist, for example an optometrist, that the individual would qualify to be registered as severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted)
  5. Confirmation in writing from Social Services that the individual is included on their Deaf Register, or a letter or report from an aural specialist confirming that hearing loss has been recorded at 70 – 95 dBHL or ‘worse’
  6. Confirmation in writing from Social Services that the individual has a learning difficulty or disability. This may include proof of registration with Social Services, or if not on the Local Authority Register, a letter from a doctor or support worker confirming that the individual has a difficulty in learning new skills or may be unable to cope independently. For children – a letter from the head teacher at their school should also be sufficient
  7. A personal letter from the GP, community nurse or social worker that the individual has a long-term disability and requires assistance/support
  8. Other official documentation that a person might have to evidence that they require support via a carer in everyday life

In order to be eligible for free parking at the event, a blue badge must be provided as evidence.

Proof of disability must be provided in advance of the event in order for The Open Ticket Office to process any complimentary carer or parking tickets.

Getting There

For full directions and travel information, please visit the following link TheOpen.com/GettingThere.

Travel by Rail

From Belfast

During the Championship week, there will be additional early morning trains from Belfast, along with additional evening services from Portrush and Coleraine. Passengers boarding trains in Belfast will be able to travel direct to Portrush without changing.

From Derry-Londonderry

Rail services from Derry-Londonderry will terminate at Coleraine, where shuttle buses will be available to transport passengers to Portrush. A regular return bus service will operate from Portrush to Coleraine Station, where passengers will be able to board trains back to Derry-Londonderry.

A full timetable will be available on the Translink website in due course at www.translink.co.uk/The148thOpen/.

Portrush train station is 0.7 mile from Royal Portrush Golf Club, approximately a 15-minute walk to the entrance gate.

The R&A will provide an accessible shuttle bus from Portrush Train Station to the course, for those who may have difficulty walking the distance to the main entrance. Anyone wishing to use the accessible shuttle should speak to Translink staff or Open Volunteers on arrival at the train station.

Should you require assistance at the station, please contact Translink’s Contact Centre 24 hours in advance of travelling by calling 02890 666630.

Travelling by Bus

The regular Goldline services from Belfast to Coleraine will connect to the 140 local bus service to Portrush at Coleraine Bus Station. The journey time from Belfast to Portrush will be approximately 1 hour 50 minutes.

During the Championship week, the local bus service between Coleraine, Portrush and Portstewart (140 service) will operate at a 10-minute frequency to facilitate passenger flows to/from The Open. This service will also connect with onward journeys to Belfast and Derry-Londonderry.

This service will also stop at major caravan sites along the route to/from Portrush.

The coastal bus service from Ballycastle (402 service) will operate at a 30-minute frequency during the week of the Championship and the service will be extended to operate earlier in the morning and later in the evening to accommodate spectators travelling to/from The Open. This service will be on diversion during the week of The Open due to road access restrictions and will travel from Ballycastle to Bushmills along the usual route, then onto Coleraine, where passengers can transfer to the 140 service to Portrush.

A full timetable for these local bus services will be available on the Translink website in due course at www.translink.co.uk/The148thOpen/.

Timetables indicate which routes use accessible buses by using a wheelchair user symbol and the message “operated by low-floor vehicles”. If you require an accessible bus for other routes, please contact Translink directly on 02890 666630 at least 24 hours prior to travel.

Open spectators will disembark at the Public Transport Hub, approximately a 10-minute walk to the entrance gate.

Travelling by Car or Motorbike

It is anticipated that given the high number of spectators attending The 148th Open at Royal Portrush, the surrounding road network will be busy. To ensure the best possible flow of traffic, the local roads authorities and police are urging all motorists to use the designated traffic routes, which will be clearly signposted by The AA. Spectators are advised to turn off their satellite navigation systems and follow the appropriate signage. For more information about how to get to The Open, please see TheOpen.com/GettingThere.

All public parking will be located at park and ride facilities; transport will be provided to take motorists to and from the course on dedicated buses. The Park & Ride buses will have low floor access. Spectators are urged to use these facilities to minimise disruption to local traffic and ensure the fastest possible transfer to and from The 148th Open. Please follow signs for The Open Park & Ride.

Spectators who hold a disabled parking permit (blue badge) or require accessible car parking are advised to contact our Customer Service Team in advance on +44 (0)1334 460010 or Tickets@TheOpen.com to discuss your requirements. The most appropriate car parking pass will be sent to you following this discussion.

Park & Ride Opening Times

Sunday 14 July Opens 8.00AM First Bus 8.00AM Last Bus 8.00PM
Monday 15 July Opens 6.30AM First Bus 6.45AM Last Bus 8.00PM
Tuesday 16 July Opens 6.30AM First Bus 6.45AM Last Bus 8.00PM
Wednesday 17 July Opens 6.30AM First Bus 6.45AM Last Bus 8.00PM
Thursday 18 July Opens 5.30AM First Bus 5.45AM Last Bus 10.00PM
Friday 19 July Opens 5.30AM First Bus 5.45AM Last Bus 10.00PM
Saturday 20 July Opens 6.30AM First Bus 6.45AM Last Bus 9.00PM
Sunday 21 July Opens 6.30AM First Bus 6.45AM Last Bus 9.00PM

Coaches and minibuses can also park and drop off/pick-up at The Open; more information is available at TheOpen.com/GettingThere.

Taxi

A dedicated taxi rank and private hire vehicle areas will be located on Metropole Green, off Sandhill Drive (next to the Public Transport Hub), approximately 10 minutes’ walk from the main entrance. If you wish to book a wheelchair accessible taxi, please call SB Taxis on 02870 356560.

Ticket Office

  • The Ticket Office will be the first tented structure at the main entrance to The Open at Royal Portrush
  • There will be a lowered window for wheelchair users
  • The route up to the Ticket Office is hard standing terrain
  • There will be Audio Induction Loops for spectators who require the use of a hearing aid, these will be located at the Ticket Office and The Open Shop

Entrance Tent & Security Check

  • Once you have purchased your ticket, or if you have already purchased a ticket in advance, please proceed to the Entry Gates where your ticket will be scanned and a security check will take place
  • This security check will include a bag check and a body search to check for prohibited items (a list will be displayed online in due course)
  • Metal barriers lead you to the security check points
  • The security check points have natural lighting
  • The Terrain leading to the Entrance Tent will be a mixture of both hardstanding and flat grass areas. The Entrance Tent is a hard floored structure with ramps on entry & exit

Facilities

Toilet Facilities

Toilet and Accessible facilities will be available at various points around the course which will include Ladies, Gents and Accessible units. Each Accessible Toilet contains a toilet and sink to allow complete privacy. All accessible toilet facilities are alarmed and are accessed via a ramp. Facilities onsite will also include a Parenting Room/Baby Changing Unit. This will comprise of separate feeding and changing stations for mothers to cater to their child’s needs.

As part of the Changing Places campaign at The Open we will also have a PAMIS facility onsite. These are specially designed facilities for people with a range of profound and complex disabilities who cannot use the toilet independently and need more space and more support than is provided in a standard accessible toilet.

Features include a weight-bearing ceiling track hoist, a height-adjustable changing bench, wheelchair accessible shower, a height-adjustable wash basin, hydrasafe floor, emergency alarm and temperature-regulated water for assured safety.

Mobility Scooters

Those wishing to bring privately owned mobility scooters into the venue are required to contact Tickets@TheOpen.com or call +44(0)1334 460010 to request this, providing necessary evidence of their need.

For spectators whose applications are successful, please note that liability of using mobility scooters will remain with the user and this should be considered when accessing areas of the golf course. Please also note that The R&A has the right to restrict or refuse entry on the grounds of safety if the environment and/or the scooter is considered as a risk to the user and/or other spectators. Such times may be in severe adverse weather/ground conditions or possibly if the specification of the scooter presents an increased risk. It is not a requirement, but we recommend that you have 3rd Party Insurance in the event of damage liability to either a pedestrian or property. Please note that mobility scooters and wheelchairs will not be available for hire at The Open and anyone wishing to bring a privately owned mobility scooters must go through the previously mentioned process.

Dining & Beverage Facilities

  • Catering facilities will be available at the course, with the main facilities located in the Spectator Village
  • Access to the Spectator Village catering area will have both step and ramp access
  • The Spectator Village has seating area on grass terrain, there are no steps
  • Large print is used where possible
  • There will also be lowered food counters on-site

Hospitality Areas

Hospitality areas within The Open are wheelchair accessible with ramps provided into single-tiered structures, and stair climbers available for wheelchair users requiring access to two-tiered facilities.

Spectator Viewing and Accessible Viewing Platforms

There will be thousands of public grandstand seats located around the course including at the 18th Green and at the Practice Ground which are accessed by stairs. The public seating is free of charge to spectators.

Wheelchair viewing platforms will be available at the 13th Green (left-hand side), 17th Green (right-hand side), 18th green (right-hand side) and the Practice Ground on a first come, first served basis. Access will also be available to accompanying carers (max of 2) who will be provided with seating. These wheelchair viewing areas can become congested especially on Championship Days but we aim to accommodate as best we can. The stands will be manned by Stewards who will be able to assist on the day.

For Mobility Impaired spectators who require a seat, accessible positions will be available on a first come first serve basis. During busy periods a portion of accessible positions will be marked for use near entry/exit points.

The Open Shop

The Open Visitors Shop will be located within the Spectator’s Village with the route in being grass terrain.

The Flooring within The Open Shop is a mixture of carpet and wood and the area is well lit. On entry to The Shop there will be both step and ramp access and The Shop is one level with having good access around all displays.

Floor Staff are available to assist customers if required and The Shop has low height desks at all the till points.

There is one large separate exit which is signposted and the option of complimentary shopping storage as you leave.

Other Useful Information

Getting around the course

Some areas on the golf course are unsuitable for some spectators, with rough and sloping ground which can become soft and slippery in wet conditions. Marshals have been briefed to assist in asking spectators to allow wheelchair users to access the front of the rope line where possible.

Information for Visually Impaired Spectators

  • We welcome assistance dogs
  • Complimentary commentary radios are available for spectators with a visual impairment – these are available for collection at the Customer Service till points within The Open Shop

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

In the case of an emergency evacuation, all visitors to The Open will be led to Localised Rendezvous Points around the course which you will be directed to by a Steward/Marshal.

In the case of a Full Course Evacuation G4S security guards will assist Marshals and direct you to the nearest Entry/Exit or Assembly Point Area.

Family Fun

There are plenty of activities for kids of all ages in the Spectator Village, including The Swingzone, the Soft Play Area and the hugely popular HSBC Golf Zone gives all spectators the opportunity to test their golf skills. This also includes The HSBC Grassroots Skillzone where children can put their golf skills to the test in a fun and friendly environment. All these areas have step and ramp access where required.

The Autograph Zone

Cherished memories are made at The Open when young fans meet their heroes. Bring your family to the Autograph Zone for a chance to get up close with the world’s best players. Watch the big screens around the course to see when golfers will be appearing. This area is on grass terrain with ramp and step access.

If you have any questions on the above, please don’t hesitate to call us on +44(0)1334 460010 or emailing us on Tickets@TheOpen.com.

We look forward to welcoming you to The 148th Open this summer at Royal Portrush Golf Club.