You would think it was April 1st! The Royal and Ancient have announced plans today to stage part of The Open in St Andrew Square….. Well no not really, but they are bringing the coveted Claret Jug to the square for people to see it close up, and you will have the chance to try golf there too.

The Open Championship and the famous Claret Jug trophy will come to the centre of Edinburgh at a special event celebrating the return of golf’s oldest Major Championship to the region.

The Open in the Square event takes place in St Andrew Square from 11-13 July, the week before the Championship is held at Muirfield in East Lothian.

The public will have the opportunity to try golf, to receive some tips from PGA golf professionals, to play some of the great Open courses on EA Sports games consoles and to get their picture taken with the Claret Jug.

The event will also feature a golf simulator, a large screen showing some of the great moments from The Open Championship and artificial practice putting greens.

Michael Tate, Executive Director of Business Affairs at The R&A, which runs The Open Championship, said:- “The Open will attract tens of thousands of people to Edinburgh and East Lothian for the week of the Championship but we wanted to bring a little bit of The Open into the City of Edinburgh and celebrate its status as Britain’s biggest festival of golf.

“The Open in the Square will showcase golf and let the people of Edinburgh interact directly with the world’s oldest Major Championship. It will be a great way for people to give golf a try and even to get their hands on the Claret Jug, an opportunity normally reserved for the legends of the game.”

The Open in the Square event will run in St Andrew Square from 11am to 7pm from 11 to 13 July 2013, and will be free and open to the public.

The 142nd Open Championship will take place at Muirfield from 14-21 July. It will be the 16th time the Championship has been played at the East Lothian links and some of the game’s greatest champions have won there including Harry Vardon, James Braid, Walter Hagen, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo and Ernie Els.

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Photo courtesy of the R & A