From waking up at the crack of dawn to watch the first tee shot, to witnessing the final putt of the round drop, there is no experience in sport quite like a day at The Open.
As golf’s oldest and most prestigious Championship, the fabled battle for the Claret Jug attracts thousands of spectators every year to see the world’s best golfers go head to head.
Memories to last a lifetime are created by those in attendance as they make the most of their chance to see their favourite stars take on the unrelenting challenge of links golf first-hand.
And the journey of one lucky golf fan and his family to The 148th Open at Royal Portrush has been documented in a new film, ‘A Day at The Open’, after he won the unique opportunity.
The Open launched the ‘Star in our new film’ campaign back in January, challenging members of The One Club to create their own short films on the theme ‘This putt to win The Open’.
One Club member Noel Daly won tickets to this year’s Open after submitting his film of his grandson Nathaniel playing a game of dinnertime golf with his dog Dexter.
But as well as winning tickets to The 148th Open, three generations of the Daly family – Noel, Nathaniel and his dad – had their special day at Royal Portrush documented.
‘A Day at The Open’ captures the essence of what it means to be at The Open, highlighting the incredible experiences people of all ages enjoy at the illustrious Championship.
It shows the Daly family at the start of their day and follows their journey to the County Antrim course, where Nathaniel gets the chance to watch his golfing heroes in action.
“A Day at The Open is an early start, you’re going to walk a lot, you’re going to see a lot and you’re going to do a lot,” explains Noel, as the trio prepare for their trip to Portrush.
“I just decided while I was around that it would be fantastic to have the three of us go to an Open. It’s your only chance really to see the top 156 players in the world.
“I think for Nathaniel as well, at a very early stage in his golfing career, I thought it would be great for him to see how it’s really done.”
After running through the tee times for the day, the Dalys make a quick pitstop at The Open Shop before heading out on the Royal Portrush links to catch their favourite players.
“I think the one thing about The Open is that everybody switches on, you feel a sense of community,” Noel says. “I don’t know of any other sport that you can actually get up so close to these guys.”
Soaking up the atmosphere, the trio follow the likes of 2017 Champion Golfer Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Dustin Johnson before also taking part in the activities on offer in the spectator village.
As well as showcasing the wide range of entertainment available for spectators, the film highlights the importance of the R&A’s ‘Kids Go Free’ initiative in inspiring the next generation.
The initiative ensures children under the age of 16 can attend The Open free of charge provided they are accompanied by an adult guardian who has secured a junior ticket in advance.
And if the experience Nathaniel had at The 148th Open is anything to go by, thousands of youngsters at Royal Portrush this year will be inspired to start practising holing their winning Open putt.
“Grandad has told us so much about The Open,” Nathaniel reflects. “I didn’t expect how big it was going to be.”
To cap off a day none of them will ever forget, the Dalys watched on as Shane Lowry was crowned Champion Golfer of the Year on the 18th green.
“To be able to say we were there,” Noel adds. “For them this will be the first of many and I hope they’ll bring me from now on.”
“I think the one thing about The Open is that everybody switches on, you feel a sense of community” Noel daly