Friday, 21 July 2017, by Peter Edwards
Live from The Open - The golf experience off the green.
Southport is playing host to the 146th Open Golf Championship this week which will see fans from around the world descend on our town to watch some incredible golf. But the action at Royal Birkdale isn't the only thing that's keeping people engaged and entertained in the town.
The Southport BID team has created an immersive interactive event in the town centre that appeals to all age groups offering an exciting bit of light hearted fun for families and groups of friends visiting the town.
It begins with The First Tee Experience, an immersive experience simulating the thrill and the pressure of the first tee of the course, those waiting in line become the grandstand when your name is called up.
Following on from this, there is a bunker shot, simulating the challenge (and frustration) of a real sand bunker and a long putt challenge requiring a 20m long hole in one. There's a mini putting course with plenty to challenge and entertain the whole family as well as a coaching zone for players of all ages and abilities to improve their game. Additionally Rick Shiels and Peter Finch will be in the Golf Zone at the centre of this every day between 7pm and 9pm to give their thoughts on the days play, providing an expert in-person commentary.
Above all of this stands the incredible golf art display that's been erected especially for The Open. Standing on top of The Atkinson Arts Centre, the piece shows a huge club chipping a ball from the roof into a hole below.
These sorts of experiential events have huge power in bringing families together in the excitement and providing a welcome relief for children who may be less interested in a day spent watching golf! They also provide a huge boon to the town centre drawing crowds before and after the main events of the day and encouraging people to visit local businesses and eat out.
This type of experiential event shows what a huge boon they can be, tying in with major events and helping to draw people into a truly memorable experience, one that will be shared online via social media and making brands (in this case Southport) stand out. The most important things as always are to ensure that they are given plenty of thought, that the spaces used are appropriate and that they are well managed.