20190627 The Ridiculous Open Championship Website

The site url is: The Open For many years it has been the worst website in the world of golf. Sadly, it’s returned in 2019 more or less unchanged.

There are myriad reasons for its bottom-feeder status among golf sites, but the one that has always frustrated me the most is its player listing. This is a completely incompetent, outmoded, collage of confusion – allied with an utter lack of appreciation of user needs.

Firstly, when you land on the homepage there is no link entitled ‘Players’ or ‘Field’ or ‘Qualifiers’. That’s ridiculous.

I’d suggest that finding out who’s playing would rank higher in user priorities than the links that are presented such as: ‘Upcoming Venues” or ‘Join the One Club”. I mean, seriously?

In fact, there are only two significant reasons for a person to visit the site in, say, May or June: finding out about players or tickets.

Anyway, you click the ‘Menu’ icon. Happily, there’s an entry entitled ‘Players & Qualification’ so you select that and it loads a page that contains, among a lot of dross, a link entitled ‘Players in the field’. This is an irritating extra step, but at least you feel you’re close to seeing the player list you seek.

What occurs next is not so good; in fact, it’s the most fucking brainless approach to a field list that has ever existed in the history of golf on the internet!

The ‘Players in the Field’ page loads and there is an icon at the top entitled ‘Filters’. Selecting it gives you 5 options: Champions, Amateurs, Debutants, Exempt & Not Playing. The last one is especially hilarious; as if you care that some retired 59-y-o who won The Open 30-some years ago isn’t going to get out of his wheelchair and use his last exemption in 2019!

Anyway, you’re looking for the players who will be playing and the only item among those 5 filters that seems logical is ‘Exempt’, so naturally you select it but it only returns a message stating “No results. Please try making your search a little wider.” Wider? wtf?

Not only is this moronic, but selecting any of those 5 filters returns the same ‘no results’ message. You wonder to yourself what level of website haplessness this represents.

However, you soldier on. Below the five useless filters there is a set of player pics and names. You immediately wonder how they’re ordered as the first two names are: Prom Meesawat & Yoshinori Fujimoto, so you know this listing is not in alphabetical or fame order.

However, upon scrolling, you discover there are 18 pics & names which you intuitively know, as a golf fan, is not everybody who has qualified as at today (27 June 2019) – just three weeks before tee-off.

Also, Ian Baker-Finch is listed and you can’t recall him teeing it up in a golf tournament for years. Anyway, despite some growing suspicions, you continue your torturous website experience.

After initially being concerned that there were only 18 qualifiers listed, you scroll and discover a ‘Load More’ button, off screen, at the bottom of the page. You click it and 18 more pics and names are added in a new page. It’s hard to put into words how annoying this is but you’re getting the hang of such inconvenient impishness and scroll, again, to the bottom of the new page.

Sure enough, there’s an icon entitled ‘Load More’. So you click it and, yes you guessed it, another 18 pics & players load. You’re up to 54 players now and you wonder how long this madness will go on!

Nonetheless, like a monkey in training, you scroll, again, to the bottom of this new page. Sure enough, there’s that icon entitled ‘Load More’ so you click it and, lo and behold, a new page loads with 18 more pics & players added. 72 players.

Scroll to the bottom, again, and there’s the now too familiar ‘Load More’ icon; it’s now as welcome as a red warning light on your dashboard in rush hour, when it’s raining and you’re running late for a meeting!

But, like the helpless victim you now are, you click it and a new page loads and, now a fully trained monkey, you immediately scroll to the bottom and discover that there’s no ‘Load More’ icon there. Your field of Open qualifiers must be complete! Your search for The Holy Grail is over!

The final two players listed are: Padraig Harrington & Rory McIlroy, confirming, as you suspected from the first page, that the listing is randomised. Anyway, to make sense of a now huge page, and to get rid of the unnecessary player photos, you copy it and paste it into MS Excel.

There, you filter out all the redundant data and end up with a list of 75 players to contemplate. At last, sigh.

To try and double-check these data, you visit the European Tour site for The Open and select ‘Entry List’. It returns a message stating “Entry List will be displayed here when it is made available” Not for the first time, the ET site proves unhelpful.

However, you then recall (too late!) some output from the excellent and helpful Rob Bolton (@RobBoltonGolf) on the other side of the world; a 26 June (yesterday) tweet linking to article for PGATour entitled: 2019 Qualifiers for majors, THE PLAYERS, WGCs

You check it and find there are 135 players listed as qualified for The Open; no Ian Baker-Finch, by the way.

Wait, 135 players? The Official site lists only 75. Somebody’s wrong!

Of course, the culprit is the Official Open website with its exasperatingly hopeless approach to user-friendliness – and to pretty much everything else.

My two conclusions:

  1. If you want info on Europe’s only golf Major, go to a USA source and;
  2. For health reasons, never, ever, ever, visit the Official Open site.


Ⓒ Copyright MJ Miller (Mike) 27 June 2019.