Martin Dempster: A price to pay for Portrush

WHILE the clamour to get Royal Portrush back on the Open rota in the wake of three major wins in 13 months by Northern Ireland golfers is understandable, it should also be a matter of concern to some of the Scottish courses already on the R&A's list.

Troon, for instance, last staged the event in 2004 and will have to wait until 2016 at the earliest to be the host venue again, with Lytham (2012), Muirfield (2013) and Hoylake (2014) all having been confirmed already and St Andrews set to host again in 2015. The Old Course apart, the other courses are now virtually on a ten-year cycle and the addition of another venue could mean the likes of Troon or Turnberry having to wait for nearer 15 years between events to play host to the world's top players.

It remains to be seen if the growing momentum behind Portrush is successful, but if it is, then the R&A may perhaps also have to review its current policy of staging the event on its doorstep every five years.