Original article from Kent Live
One of the biggest sporting competitions in the world has arrived in Kent.
The 149th Open Golf Championship is taking place on Sandwich's historic Royal St George's course.
Even with numbers limited by the pandemic, over 150,000 spectators are due to arrive over the coming days.
It means a massive organisational effort that affects most of the surrounding area.
So far however, things remain calm.
At this point in the week it's still only on the practise days, generating around 10,000 people per day.
But for local business owners even these have apparently produced a footfall increase and record takings.
"It's definitely been the busiest Tuesday of the year so far," said Dan Friend, who volunteers in the Age Concern shop and is the Vice President of Sandwich's Chamber of Commerce.
"It's going to get a lot busier too. Pretty much everywhere is fully booked later in the week.
"They've added these big planters so everywhere's looking great.
"We are all excited here.
"It's really good for us – what other town gets the opportunity to be front and centre with 50 million people around the world watching?"
As you would expect, not every local is so positive about the arrival of the big event.
Trains and buses are expected to be very busy.
For motorists, the whole area has been transformed into a maze of traffic restrictions.
Virtually every road is lined on each side by yellow traffic cones.
A few routes are shut completely, with workers standing at junctions waving traffic away.
Sandwich Bay is closed to vehicles too, after golf authorities rented out the entire access road.
Then there are the hundreds upon hundreds of police, security staff and other fluorescent-jacketed workers wandering around looking far jollier than usual for those in their profession.
Many are on pedal bikes, soaking in the Sandwich sun and grinning from ear to ear, presumably rather chuffed at their deployment to what must be one of the world's best behaved major sports events.
Perhaps they are just enjoying it while it lasts.
Number are expected to more than treble when competitive action gets underway on Thursday.
"You do get people moaning about all the traffic restrictions," Dan said.
"But without them, the town will grind to a halt.
"I'd still say that most people are in favour of it – it's just the one's who aren't tend to shout the loudest.
"The place setting has been really good too – lots of signs with Dover and Deal and the white cliffs.
"Definitely as businesses we are excited and working together and doing our best to welcome everyone here."
Gavin Wilders, who runs the Mermaid's Locker pub/restaurant in the heart of Sandwich, was even more positive about the reaction from locals.
"We've been here five years so this is our first Open," he said.
"Yes we're excited.
"We are fully booked now for most of the week so we've been working together as local publicans and I'll be sending customers to them.
"We work well together here and we try to send people to similar places to our own.
"I actually think most people, 70-30 if I had to guess, are in favour it.
"In fact I'd say we've got a good cross section of local people who come in here and to be honest I haven't really heard anyone be that negative about it.
"I think most of them do appreciate how difficult it's been recently and how positive it is for us to get this boost.
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"Because it's not just the golf.
"After the event there are all the rich people who want to come down and play the Open golf course.
"They need places to stay and eat too. It's a great thing for the town.
"I think the evenings are going to be very vibrant this week."
Dan agreed: "It's going to get much, much busier, but it's good – the golf fans are known for being pretty well behaved."
It's not just hospitality being boosted by the arrival of the world golfing circus either.
The local Chamber of Commerce's Vice President said he'd heard the going rate to rent out a property in Sandwich over the ten days was around £20,000.
In lavish Sandwich Bay, it's more like £50,000.
And it's not just Sandwich benefiting.
We recently reported how residents in places like Walmer and Deal are renting out their homes for thousands of pounds.
Popular holiday let websites were recently listing bungalows in Dover for over £5,000.
Some locals are camping and going to school and work from tents for the week instead.
For businesses and savvy residents alike, it's clear the event is a chance to make money from the surge in visitors.
For others, it is simply a proud moment for our corner of the country to sit in the sporting limelight.
And for probably many, many more, the whole thing will feel entirely irrelevant and something they can't wait to see the back of.
Gone in the blink of an eye, they hope, or with the toss of a plastic cone.