We sit down & chat with Darren Clarke about his experiences playing The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. Darren talks about his experiences of Hoylake as well as insights about the most difficult holes. Darren’s insights into the course and the tournament are invaluable for anyone watching The 151st Open Championship or playing Royal Liverpool on an upcoming golf break.

Darren Clarke on Royal Liverpool

The last couple of Open Championships at Royal Liverpool have seen different conditions. The one before the last was bone dry, am I right in recollecting that Tiger did not hit a driver all week, just irons, positioning and chased it out there the whole time.

When we played there the last time when Rory won there was no wind and it was soft, Rory played unbelievably. It was two contrasting tournaments, as far end of the spectrum as you can get.

Now the course, as you stand on that first tee you’ve got out of bounds on the right so you want to aim a little bit left and you pull it left to go into the rough then try to not get a flyer, that’s usually the way I try to play the first hole.

The course gives you opportunities as well, the holes are not all long beasts. The 15th has been redesigned, a great little par 3 surrounded by bunkers, I look forward to getting back there and seeing how that worked out.

On 18 you are almost going over the corner with the out of bounds, you have to make sure you have your alignment for your second shot. You have to pick a mark on the grandstands and commit to it, it’s very easy to take your eyes off it and leak one or hit a bad shot.

It is a really fair golf course that gives you opportunities to make birdies but it is also going to bite you really quick if you get it wrong.

What is the hardest hole at Royal Liverpool?

The hardest hole on the golf course is going to depend upon the conditions, if the wind blows and it’s firm & fast with bunkers waiting to gobble up any ball that is drawn towards them leaving you with no shot. So the hardest is probably the 8th, it’s going to play really tough but again it depends on the conditions. Like any links course if the wind is blowing straight down one day it’s an easy hole, blowing straight into you then it’s a brute of a hole so weather dependant.

Who will win The Open in 2023?

I wish I had that crystal ball, Rory is going to go back there with really good memories of winning. The depth is so great at the top you had Cameron Young finish second last year at St Andrews, he has an unbelievable golf game. You’ve got Jordan we know what he can do and JT there are so many guys who are going to be there and challenge.



Keen golfer, 11 handicap with 3 Aces!! Some people have collections of various types of objects, I collect golf courses.

What's in my bag?
Nike SQ Machspeed Black Driver
TaylorMade SIM MAX OS Graphite irons
TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 Black 54 & 60
Golden Bear MTS putter

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