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  Saturday, 21 July, 2001, 10:36 GMT 11:36 UK
Paying The Open price
Tiger Woods enjoys an expensive snack
Tiger Woods enjoys an expensive snack
BBC Sport Online's Kitrina Douglas discovers the cost of living the Lytham life is rising.

I spent part of the Friday morning sampling the range of culinary delights on offer around Royal Lytham and St Annes.

I started with the luxury (and generally healthier) end of the market.

If I was feeling flush I could have gone for a hefty roast pork baguette at an equally hefty price of 5.

As it is summer, the lighter hummus and red pepper wrap at 3.95 appealed or even the roast vegetable cous-cous for 4.15.

But my winner in the "most luxurious sandwich" category was the crayfish and rocket on wheatgrain bread for 3.45.


The exhibition tent is always a favourite among the public
Kitrina Douglas

If your mid-morning appetite is supported by a loan facility with a generous rate of interest you could have pushed the boat out at Lytham.

You can even dine on half a lobster for 21 - perhaps not the place for a family meal!

Of course you'd have to accompany the lobster with a good bottle of Chablis (38.50) or, even better, a visit to the Bollinger tent for a bottle of their finest for 43.50 (half bottle only 21.75!).

My tastes were more modest. I enjoyed a bottle of mineral water for 1.60 (ouch!) and a bowl of melon at 3.95 (it was a large bowl).

Lunch is looking like the decidedly unhealthy, but bank manager friendly, fish and chips option (4) accompanied by a coffee (1.25). Or, if things get really desperate a pint of Kronenbourg from the beer tent (2.60).

I then moved on the check out the shopping opportunities at the Open.

The exhibition tent is always a favourite among the public, but this year I found it particularly uninspiring.

Dour exhibition

I love shopping in old markets and the way the tent used to be organised was great - lots of unusual golf memorabilia on offer at a multitude of little stands and stalls.

The 2001 tent is now scientifically divided into "exhibition" and "retail". The atmosphere is dour and uninspiring - more like a 1970s department store!

The merchandise had a similar effect on me as the tent. It seemed like lots of different companies were all essentially offering the same heavily logoed tourist products.

The best value item I could find was a 1 pen masquerading as a three-inch wooden tee.

Also available was a baseball visor at 21, an umbrella for 35 and a set of cufflinks with the Randa logo at 15. The worst value of all was probably the children's T-shirts at 18 each.

21st century technology

My "most unusually priced item" award goes to the golf balls - with the Royal Lytham and St. Annes crest. Three golf balls for 10, or six for 25.50.

How much, then, would a dozen cost? Maybe it's something to do with the little box they come in.

The Taylor Made stand offered the most interest to me.

It boasts a piece of 21st century technology that allows golfers to play a shot while analysing the ball speed, spin rate and launch angle.

Armed with this information, any golfer is then able to select a driver from the range of three alternative designs based on their own personal swing characteristics.

Now, if that doesn't help your drives, I don't know what will.


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