Georgia Hall believes The R&A’s approach to attracting new fans to the AIG Women’s Open is the future of golf.
Pop superstar Ellie Goulding will perform a live concert at Championship venue Walton Heath, after the close of play on Saturday 12 August.
It will be the first time live music has been a part of the AIG Women’s Open, one of five major championships in the women’s game.
Hall said: “I’ve been to events like this before and I think it’s a great idea.
“This is a great chance for people who have never watched the game before to come along and see what the AIG Women’s Open has to offer.
“There’s no reason why this can’t continue every year and hopefully be a success.”
Alongside the elite-level golf, Ellie Goulding’s concert will be the centrepiece of the weekend - and there will be so much more to enjoy, including the festival fan village, a new area designed to generate a vibrant atmosphere befitting a glorious summer’s day in stunning Surrey.
The village will contain a ‘Golf It!’ zone where newcomers, young and old, can pick up a club for the first time and try out different games.
An array of vendors will offer street food from all over the world, a nod to the fact the AIG Women’s Open is golf’s most international major.
The village will be furnished with large TV screens so fans can keep an eye on not just the golf taking place out on the course, but also action from the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
And it will be completed by a variety of shops and bars for visitors to pick up mementos from their day out.
Hall added: “I think it will help bring more spectators to watch the game and it’s nice to show the other side of golf and that there are other ways to enjoy it.
“Not everyone comes to watch golf for eight hours a day.
“The really keen fans do – and that’s fantastic and what we want – but some people want to come for two or three hours, especially if it’s their first time, and then get involved in other things that we’ve got going on at the event.”
Hall triumphed at the AIG Women’s Open in 2018, her first major title, and if she is successful at Walton Heath she will become just the sixth golfer – after Karrie Webb, Sherri Steinhauer, Debbie Massey, Jiyai Shin and Yani Tseng – to win the Championship multiple times.
And while the 27-year-old will be honed in on trying to add her name to that illustrious list, she could be tempted to alter her preparations for the final day.
She said: “I think it’s going to be really cool for everyone to have [the concert] there and the option to maybe go if they have the evening free.
“For me, it’s the biggest event of the year, so I’ll be very focused, but I’m sure if I have time it would be nice to go and do something and take my mind off golf for the evening."
The AIG Women’s Open will take place between 9-13 August, with 144 of the world’s best golfers battling it out for the prestigious trophy.
The player who shoots the lowest score over 72 holes will be crowned the AIG Women's Open Champion, with a play-off taking place if two or more golfers finish on the same total.
Hall said: “I’d encourage people to come to Walton Heath because it will be showcasing the best women’s golfers in the world. A lot of people are pleasantly surprised by the talent that we have.
“It’s one of the best-run events of the year, and now with the festival, the concert and the different foods from all around the world, it’s a great opportunity to come and be involved in that.”
Adult tickets are available from £20, with Saturday tickets including a full day of golf action and entry to the Ellie Goulding concert priced at £55.
A number of offers are also available, including a £10 discount when booking a weekend bundle and a saving of £40 when booking the new five-day ticket offering. Mastercard holders are also eligible to receive £5 off their transaction when booking with a valid Mastercard on checkout.