Royal Portrush will officially be invited by the R&A to join the Open Championship rota. But as required by its constitution, the members must have their say at an Emergency General Meeting which has yet to be called. Could they turn it down?
In theory, they could indeed say, 'Thanks, but no thanks' to two proposed new holes and other changes required for a potential 2019 staging.
There is frustration and irritation amongst many of the older members about the secrecy surrounding the negotiations between the club, The R&A and the Northern Ireland Executive. Few have seen drawings of the proposed changes and many are loathe to lose the 17th and 18th holes;
Given the worldwide publicity given to the news over the past two days — and indeed over the last 18 months — the captain and the Council of the club wrote to the membership today to assure them that they would, as is their right, have the last say over the changes and the Open at an Emergency General Meeting.
Here's what the club council and captain wrote to the members on Thursday:
Members,As you are aware, some elements of the media have reported on The Open Championship returning to Royal Portrush Golf Club.A formal announcement will be made on Monday 16th June, in conjunction with The R. & A. and N.I. Executive, whereby, Royal Portrush Golf Club will be formally invited to join the Rota for future Open Championships. It was Council’s intention to advise you, the Members, over the week-end, in advance of the Press Conference.The Open Championship has been a goal of the Tournament Committee and over the last number of years, under the direction of Council, they have worked tirelessly with various bodies to host major Championships.As mentioned at the Annual General Meeting, it is the Members who will have the final say on this matter at an E.G.M., date to be confirmed. In advance of, and at the E.G.M, a full presentation will be made by the Club’s Golf Architect, Mr. Martin Ebert, Mackenzie & Ebert relating to the proposed changes to the Links. We cannot stress enough that the decision to host an Open Championship will be the Members, based on the approval of the two new holes and other alterations.It is a most exciting time in the Club’s History and we look forward to your continued support in seeing The Open Championship returning to Royal Portrush Golf Club, the first time since 1951.Captain & Council
Royal Portrush Golf Club
As Irish Golf Desk reported in April, the changes to the course would see the players play the current Dunluce Links as far as the par-three sixth, then play into the valley towards Valley Course's 6th green before returning to join into the current 7th hole on the Dunluce. .
It's proposed that the 17th and 18th on the Dunluce links will become the first and second holes on the Valley course permanently and will be used for the tented village during the Open.