Radio Links Celebrating 40 years of service to The Open Championship

The Open Championship, often referred to as The Open or the British Open, is the oldest of the four major championships in professional golf. It was first played in 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland. The Open has always been held in the United Kingdom and is the only major played outside the United States. It is administered by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, known as The R & A. The current champion is Jordan Spieth, who won the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017 with a score of 268. The 147th Open will take place at Carnoustie, Scotland from 19th to 22nd July 2018.

Under the flag of our parent company, Radio Links Communications Ltd, our Managing Director first approached the R & A to offer the hire of professional two-way radios during the 1977 Open at Turnberry in Ayrshire. The following year the R & A contacted us, prior to the 1978 Open at St. Andrews when it became apparent that, due to a strike by the local telephone company, the cabling that was to be utilised for scoring and leader boards would not be installed in time for the event.  After experiencing our radios systems in 1978 the use of cabled telephone systems was abandoned in favour of two-way radios and the door was opened to, what has proved to be, a long and loyal relationship with the R & A.

The task of ensuring everyone on site is but a press of a button away from help or advice has been the responsibility of our company and the relationship between ourselves and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club continues to go from strength to strength.

Extensive use of computer technology is now the norm’, however, radio communications are still widely used by the R & A organisers, referees, marshals, tented village services and programme staff. Radios are also used by the vast army of contractors who provide services for The Open Championship, further embracing security, catering, car parking, banking, hospitality and many other support services who all need to communicate with each other, not only during the four days of the Championship itself, but also during the build-up, which can take weeks/months and the break-down period as well. 

The frequency co-ordination services we provide remain a crucial ingredient to the success of the event, ensuring all channels on site remain interference free. Licensing and on-site engineering technical support are also provided as part of our comprehensive services package. We always ensure the R & A are kept up to date with all the latest communications technology and as such, new products and services are introduced into the portfolio every year. 

Over the many years further services have been requested and added. These include emergency public address systems, first tee announcement and 18th green presentation systems. TV interview areas with audio facilities and video monitoring are also installed in the huge Press Centre containing the World’s Media, all provided under the flag of our Special Events Division, Onsite Communications Ltd.

Although golf forms a major part of our company’s work, we also supply equipment and services to a diverse range of major events within the sporting world, including the European Ryder Cups, Henley Royal Regatta, Wimbledon, Burghley Horse Trials and the Barclays ATP World Tour Final.