More than 300 people signed up to act as volunteer ambassadors welcoming to visitors to The Open on its return to Wirral.
Wearing distinctive yellow bibs they are stationed at key locations to help the thousands of visitors expected during the week from 16 to 23 July. The Open Championship runs from 20 to 23 July.
Based at The Hope Church next to the roundabout they have already been helping the visitors find their way.
Wirral was the first Open location to have the ambassadors scheme, when The Open returned in 2006, and the R&A has carried it on at other locations to help golf fans at the other Open locations.
Those who take part welcome visitors to Hoylake and West Kirby, provide directions and offer information about the local area – and show visitors what a beautiful place Wirral is.
During the Championship the volunteers work six hour volunteer shifts throughout the week ranging between 6.30am and 9pm as the start and finish times vary throughout the days of The Open.
The volunteers have come from around Wirral and the Liverpool city region, and some have come from even farther afield. Among those volunteering as an ambassador is Poul Weisbjerg, a retired policeman from Denmark who regularly holidays in Hoylake and jumped at the chance to be part of The Open.
Leader of Wirral Council, Cllr Paul Stuart, said ahead of The Open, “When it was announced that Wirral was going to host The Open again, we knew it was an incredible opportunity for our borough, and one that other places could only dream of.
“The Golf Open Championship gives us an incredible chance to showcase the area to many thousands of visitors, as well as a huge TV and online audience right across the world.
“We knew there was a lot of hard work required to host the Open following on from the success we had when we hosted the Open in 2006 and 2014, especially given how the scale and complexity of the event has grown enormously over recent years.
“As well as some of the biggest golf crowds ever seen in England, we will have hundreds of journalists from the worlds media and news outlets heading our way, we will be encouraging them to experience many of the things that make our peninsula so special, including our glorious coast and countryside and wonderful hospitality.
“Community groups, individuals, businesses and many teams from across the council have been working hard to make sure Wirral is ready for The Open and it’s first visitors, who will arrive in large numbers for the first Practice Day on Sunday 16 July. Hoylake really is looking beautiful and ready to welcome the world. There is a real buzz surrounding this event, and I know that its residents and businesses across Wirral will take real pride in showcasing the area at its glorious best to audiences on the world stage.
“We already know that Wirral has an incredible amount to offer, from the ambitious regeneration plans that are underway, to inspiring heritage and an incredible range of natural assets.
“The Open gives us an unrivalled opportunity to spread that message to millions of people who, over the coming weeks, will see what a great place it is to visit, live, work and invest in.
“It’s also a unique chance for Wirral residents to enjoy hosting a truly global sporting event and I know that people will give the warmest of welcomes to more than a quarter of a million visitors over the coming days.
“So, whether you are planning to follow the coverage on TV, working or volunteering on or around the course, or are fortunate to be attending in person, I do hope you have a wonderful Open Championship and enjoy Wirral’s moment in the global sporting spotlight.”
Don’t forget you can still sign up for the Wirral Hosts The Open resident email to keep up to date with the latest information about the event which affects you.