Pace of play is set to be a major issue here at Royal Lytham and St Annes due to the difficulty of the links course and the adverse weather.
In the past, rounds have lasted up to SIX HOURS in this Major as the world's top players have struggled to cope with the conditions.
Organisers, the Royal and Ancient, have vowed to stamp down on groups taking longer than four-and-a-half hours to complete the 7,086-yard layout.
And Fredrik Jacobsen, the talented Swedish professional competing here, reckons they should hit persistent offenders with the ultimate sanction.
The European Tour drew widespread praise last month when they penalised Ross Fisher a shot when he was bidding to land the Wales Open at Celtic Manor.
Jacobsen believes the R&A taking the same action for the first time in The Open over the next four days would by a huge step towards eradicating an escalating problem.
"Slow play is something that definitely needs to be dealt with," he said as the first round got underway in Lancashire.
"Penalising players a shot for slow play sends out a strong message. It will certainly have a far greater impact than fining a player.
"Being penalised a shot is the hardest penalty we can get. If that fate was to befall somebody between today and Sunday, then slow play is definitely something competitors would guard against.
"When the European Tour penalised Ross when he was in contention, it sent shockwaves throughout golf. Doing the same thing in The Open Championship would be a big deal," Jacobsen added:
"The R&A always do their best to keep things running on time. It varies from course to course where the hold-ups are. But, at The Open, slow play is an issue. Players here take longer because there are so many different options with shots.
"You have to weigh things up. You have to decide whether to bounce the ball on to the green or fly it at the flag.
"There are humps and hollows around the greens which we don't have to deal with on a weekly basis playing on the US PGA or European Tour.
"Every player in the field knows how much time we have to play a shot. Some of us take more time than we should on a regular basis. We do speed up when we get put on the clock.
"But, if you get a few guys playing in a group with the same issue, then it becomes a problem as they hold up the rest of the field."
However, Jacobsen, renowned as one of the fastest players on the US PGA Tour, hopes the R&A take external factors into account when they are tackling the problem.
He added: "It is not fair to compare The Open with a regular Tour event. But, because the event is live on television, we are scrutinised to a far greater degree.
"Sometimes, there is very little you can do about slow play. On Open courses, there are often long walks between tees and greens, and large crowds to go through. There is a lot to deal with.
"There is a lot to handle at The Open. The Majors always take a lot out of players; preparation wise, signing autographs, practising, doing the media. It takes a toll."
Jim McArthur, chairman of the R&A Championship committee, confirmed stamping out slow play is a priority this week.
McArthur feels the leading professionals must set an example for their amateur counterparts over the four days of the tournament.
He said: "We have a Pace of Play policy which we intend to apply stringently. This year, we are making slow play a big issue. We have briefed officials along those lines.
"We give each group a time schedule for each hole and monitor that very closely. If a group is out of position, we tell them. If they don't respond, we put them on the clock.
"We've obviously got to take into account the weather and other mitigating circumstances. But we will have no hesitation in taking the appropriate action if we feel players are over time.
"We have emphasised to the players that we are applying our policy stringently. We will make allowances, but we will definitely do all we can to speed up play."
McArthur added: "We are intent on doing whatever we can to improve pace of play in golf. Slow play is killing club memberships because of the time it takes to complete a round of golf.
"We will do whatever we can do in our events to improve pace of play. But it needs a concerted effort. The R&A, the tours, the golf unions and other golf organisations need to come together.
"In club amateur golf, a three-ball should be taking three-and-a-half hours max-imum, perhaps four hours at elite level. But those should be maximum times."