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Hoylake prepares for Open Golf's return
THE world's attention will once again focus on Hoylake later this year when the Open Golf Championship returns.
An independent study commissioned by the sport's governing body The R&A predicts that the event, held at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in July will deliver an economic benefit of £75m to the regional economy of Wirral and Liverpool.
The event was last held at the venue in 2006, attracting 230,000 spectators, the second highest total in Open Championship history.
The Ladies Open was staged in Hoylake in 2012. Business owners, residents and visitors to the town say they are ready for its return.
But what do people think of the tournament's return? The Globe went out to Hoylake and West Kirby to find out the public’s views.
Sally Roberts, manager of The Portrait House, believes this year's Open will be busy.
Looking back to the Women's Open Golf in 2012 Sally Roberts, 19, manager of The Portrait House in Hoylake said: "It was awful, they diverted the traffic. I had to go and hand out fliers.
"We were all preparing for it to be really busy. We got the menus ready.
"I think this year will be busy and I'll be working every day."
Retired Hoylake resident William Lewis hopes for good weather.
William Lewis, 70, is retired, lives in Hoylake and used to own recycling factories.
He said: "The last time I watched The Open was from a nice villa in Cyprus. I sold it and moved up here.
"I think this area was very lucky last time because we got the best of the weather two weeks of sunshine and no rain.
"The Americans loved it because it was like America's weather last time. It could only get better."
Newsagent David Steadman hopes organisers keep local businesses in mind.
Recalling the ladies open golf David Steadman, 44, owner of a newsagents in Albert Road said: "There was no passing trade because they closed the main entrance to the train station and where diverting people away.
"I hope this year's Open Golf is as good as 2006 and that the organisers keep in mind local businesses.
"I invested two and half thousand last time, we bought more stock and employed more staff but they totally over looked the whole of Hoylake.
"I feel extremely let down we wasted a lot of money, we were selling the stock for months after.
"I had a table setup at the top of the road but had a councilman told me to move. I then had to move all the stock back to the shop with my son.
"In 2012 they brought up catering vans from London. Why should they see the benefit instead of us?"
Little Deli cafe owner Sarah Johnson said more needs to be done to promote businesses.
Sarah Johnson, 43, owner of Little Deli cafe in Market Street said business during the womens' open was "absolutely dreadful".
"It was a complete mess up from beginning to end. With the size of the business I'm quite lucky that we lasted.
"Obviously they need to promote the businesses more. I live in Hoylake and weather permitting I'll try and maximise what I can out of it this year.
Financial services worker Lorraine Ryder thinks the Open will bring tourism to the area.
Lorraine Ryder, 49, works for a Chester-based financial services company.
Looking forward to the golf she said: "I think it will bring money into Hoylake. We stayed locally last time.
"I think it will bring a lot of tourism to the area."
PA Janet Middleton thinks the Open is a "good thing".
Janet Middleton, 49, lives in Hoylake and is a PA. On the Open's return, she said: "I think it's a good thing because pubs are closing. It gets more people to the area."
Twenty-seven-year-old David Williams said businesses were quiet during the ladies Open.
David Williams, 27, self employed, He said: "During the ladies Open Golf it was very quiet, because all businesses were diverted away from Market Street.
"But I remember it was busier at night everywhere was heaving it was like being on holiday. You couldn’t walk around."
Health service worker Christine Melling said the championship is good for the area.
Christine Melling, 54, works for the health service and said the championship was good for the area. "In 2006 we had fantastic weather. I’ll be watching it from home this year, my husband is a big golf fan."
Manager of Fresh Food and Farm Produce, Janet Atherton, said the Open did not benefit her shop last time it was here.
Janet Atherton, 56, manager of Fresh Food and Farm Produce in Banks Road, West Kirby said: "Last time the golf didn’t benefit the shop at all.
"People didn't tend to come here, concentrating more on Hoylake.
“Costumer wise it wasn’t very busy, the shop's been here for over 50 years now.
"You'd hope that this year it will bring more people to the area, hopefully it will generate more business."
Meols resident John Birch said the Open causes parking problems.
John Birch, 70, a retired labourer from Meols said: "They're are preparing for this year's events and are doing all the shops up and cafes. I'm not a massive golf fan, but I do bet on it.
"It causes a lot of problems with parking you can’t park next to your house."
Retired golfer Ian Bramall started his career at Royal Liverpool.
Ian Bramall, 62, a retired golf professional from Wallasey, said: "I'm looking forward to it because the course is a fantastic course.
"I actually started my career there. It's good for business in Hoylake and West Kirby.
"I’m sure it's going to be bigger this year."
Wallasey couple Alex and Irene Mclachlan think the Open helps to publicise the area.
Alex and Irene Mclachlan, 68 and 65, from Wallasey are both retired. They are looking forward to the Championship's return.
Irene said: "It's great because it won’t just be based in Hoylake. The players will be training at courses in Wallasey. My eldest granddaughter loves it.
"I think it's a good idea, it's publicising the area.
"We've got relations in America who saw the golf in 2006 and said that they wanted to take pictures of the course when they next came over to visit us."
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