Open A Success

The Open Golf Championship at Sandwich has been declared a huge success by its organisers who spent years planning the event to make sure it went without a hitch.

They say more than 180,000 golf fans flocked to Royal St George's and Sandwich itself over the course of the four days of the Championship. 37,000 of them arrived by Southeastern train services (both high speed and regular), an increase of 7,000 on the last time the event was staged here in 2003.

The Open is thought to have boosted the local economy by around £18m, with increased spending in local shops, restaurants, pubs, cafes and hotels.

Kent as a whole is expected to benefit by as much as £80m.

The Open, which was won by Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke was beamed into homes in 110 countries around the world.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club which organises the Open has confirmed Royal St George's will stay on the exclusive list of venues allowed to host the tournament, and is likely to be invited to stage the event again within the next ten years.