Golf’s oldest Major Championship takes place at Royal Liverpool in Wirral this July. Regarded by many as the one to win, The Open Championship and it’s coveted Claret Jug has enjoyed a rich history with the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy all amongst past winners.
Whilst all eyes for The 2023 Open Championship, will be on Hoylake in July, qualifying for the tournament takes place well before that.
The Open Qualifying Series is a global adventure that takes in six countries across five continents over eight events with one goal: to qualify for the most prestigious golf championship in the world, The Open. Regional and Final Qualifying take place in The UK and allow both professionals and amateurs (with a handicap of 0.0 or lower) the chance to do battle and claim a place in the field at Hoylake.
The qualifying venues in the UK this year for Regional Qualifying are rated amongst the very best, offering a suitable challenge as the gateway to playing in the 151st Open Championship.
Taking place on Monday 26th June, players will be enjoying a simple 18-hole stroke play tournament. The top players will progress to final qualifying.
We’re going to take a look at each of the Regional Qualifying venues for The Open and our thoughts on the test that lies ahead.
Alwoodley Golf Club
PAR 72 | YARDAGE 6,739
The first course designed by famed architect Dr Alister Mackenzie and is now known as the Original MacKenzie Course.
Dating back to 1907 the course at Alwoodley enjoys natural heathland characteristics, with firm, springy fairways lined by heather and occasional outcrops of gorse. Distinguishing features are the eye-catching, irregularly shaped and naturalistic-looking bunkers as well as large, often undulating, greens.
Caldy Golf Club
PAR 72 | YARDAGE 6,714
The course at Caldy, established in 1907 with a redesign by James Braid in 1930, provides an eclectic mix of cliff-top links, parkland and heathland, almost 3 courses in one.
Since those early days, the design has changed little fundamentally, but much investment has been made to transform Caldy into a genuine championship venue. The scenery and setting were undeniable, and with the addition of USGA standard tee boxes and a number of other developments, the course is now held in high regard by the tournament bodies.
County Louth Golf Club
PAR 72 | YARDAGE 7,031
County Louth Golf Club is often referred to as ‘Baltray’, the village in which it is located close to the historic town of Drogheda.
There are no weak holes around Baltray, with holes running in every direction, visiting golfers must tackle the wind from all angles. In 2009 the course hosted the Irish Open, which saw Shane Lowry capture his home open title as an amateur.
Dating back to 1892, the current championship links was designed in 1938 by the renowned Tom Simpson. The course is laid out in two nine-hole loops and covers almost 200 acres of links land. The golf course has become noted for excellent presentation standards and for the many unique greens complexes.
Ferndown Golf Club
PAR 71 | YARDAGE 6,556
The Championship Course at Ferndown was founded in 1921, when the inaugurating fixture included the legendary Harry Vardon. The course however was conceived by Harold Hilton, the Hoylake member who twice became Open Champion as an amateur in the 1890s.
Ferndown’s Championship course was included in the 2002 publication of Golf Monthly’s top 100 British courses, and the heathland track is now a staple in a good Bournemouth golf tour.
PAR 72 | YARDAGE 6,803
Goswick Golf Club is located on the stunning Northumberland coastline and has hosted Regional Qualifying on a number of years.
James Braid, the five-time Champion Golfer, designed the layout which traverses the humps, bumps and hollows of the Berwick shore, and is a truly pleasurable golfing experience.
Hesketh Golf Club
PAR 72 | YARDAGE 6,712
Hesketh is not a traditional links course, but can be viewed almost in two separate halves; part of the layout features superb holes that are carved through the towering sand dunes, while the remainder borders the Ribble Estuary.
Hesketh has hosted Final Qualifying for The Open five times and is an historic venue in Southport, less than 30 miles from Royal Liverpool.
Kedleston Park Golf Club
PAR 70 | YARDAGE 7,008
The mature parkland course at Kedleston Park is set in peaceful countryside within the grounds of the magnificent Kedleston Hall, a grand 18th century stately home just a few miles northwest of Derby city centre.
Measuring in at over 7,000 yards, the course at Kedleston will provide a stern test for golfers trying to reach The 150th Open at St Andrews. Five time Open Champion James Braid is responsible for the design but the onset of the Second World War in 1939 meant it was left up to renowned course architects Colt, Alison and Morrison to finalise the plans for the course using Braid’s original design.
PAR 72 | YARDAGE 6,852
Designed by Theodore Moon, Barassie has an extensive history and has been offering golfers a magnificent links golf challenge since 1887.
Located on the outskirts of Troon on the west coast of Scotland, Kilmarnock (Barassie) in Ayrshire has hosted Final Qualifying for The Open seven times.
Minchinhampton Golf Club
PAR 72 | YARDAGE 6,721
Located in the heart of The Cotswolds, Minchinhampton Golf Club consists of three courses, The Avening, The Cherington and The Old Course.
The Avening and The Cherington courses will be used for The 150th Open Regional Qualifying event. Minchinhampton Golf Club has been a Regional Qualifying venue on several occasions, the last of which was in 2019 when The Open was at Royal Portrush.
Moor Park Golf Club
PAR 72 | YARDAGE 7,061
Golfers taking part in the Regional Qualifying at Moor Park, designed by Harry Colt in 1923, will be walking in the footsteps of champions. Greats such as Roberto de Vicenzo, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Greg Norman, Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Sandy Lyle, Bernhard Langer and Justin Rose have all played Moor Park.
North Hants Golf Club
PAR 70 | YARDAGE 6,256
Five-time Open Champion James Braid originally designed North Hants with architectural changes implemented by Harry Colt in the early 20th century and Donald Steel at the turn of the millennium.
The course is also well known as Justin Rose’s home course in his youth and is one of several notable names to have won ‘The Hampshire Hog’, a leading amateur event held annually at North Hants since 1957.
Northamptonshire County Golf Club
PAR 70 | YARDAGE 6,710
Northamptonshire County was designed by the distinguished golf course architect, Harry Colt, who also designed Wentworth and Sunningdale.
The course is a traditional heathland golf course with undulating woodland, gorse, heather and fine pine woods.
Panmure Golf Club
PAR 70 | YARDAGE 6,551
Situated between the courses of Monifieth and Carnoustie on the east coast of Scotland, this James Braid designed course is the 16th-oldest golf club in the world, dating back to 1845.
It was at Panmure Golf Club in 1953 that the legendary Ben Hogan made his rigorous preparations for victory at Carnoustie in his only Open Championship appearance, he was victorious by four shots & achieved a course record 68 in the final round.
This par-70 layout was laid out by five-time Open Champion James Braid and has hosted a wide variety of regional and national professional and amateur competitions.
Rochester & Cobham Park Golf Club
PAR 71 | YARDAGE 6,597
The established championship course at Rochester & Cobham Park is one of Kent’s finest layouts, with undulating greens set with spacious parkland.
Donald Steel is responsible for the present course after redesigning the original layout from Colt, Mackenzie and Alison.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post about the changes to the qualifying process for The Open Championship. Good luck to all who will be taking part as they compete for a place in the field at Royal Liverpool. If you have any questions about attending The Open or playing an Open Championship golf course, please contact our Golf Travel Experts.
Thank you for reading and let’s look forward to another great Open Championship!