Following the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club and the recent announcement of Royal Birkdale as the 2026 host for the tournament, golfers have revealed the golf course that they really want to see added to the roster of Open venues.
In a survey of 550 golfers, Your Golf Travel asked which golf course that has never yet hosted The Open should be on the list of Open venues.
And the results were conclusive: the overwhelming majority of golfers surveyed (31%) believe Royal County Down should be the first on the list to host The Open in the future.
Consistently voted the number one golf course in the world, Royal County Down currently sits in third place behind only Cypress Point and Pine Valley. It is widely regarded as the most scenic golf course in Britain & Ireland and home to a challenging Old Tom Morris layout, which Peter Alliss once referred to as the best-prepared links course he had seen.
❝The quality of links golf in the UK is so good that it’s striking how many incredible courses have never hosted the Open. But it’s clear from our research that Royal County Down would be an extremely popular addition to the Open roster in the future.
We’ve sent thousands of Your Golf Travel customers to Royal County Down, and it currently ranks as one of the most popular golf courses that we sell across the globe, with an average rating of 10/10 from our customers who have played it.❞
Oliver Gunning, Chief Marketing Officer
The Open Survey – Full Results
Best Course to Never Host The Open
Despite Royal County Down being the runaway leader, there were a number of other courses that were clearly popular among golfers hoping for a new Open Championship host in the future. Among these were the world’s third oldest golf course, Scotland’s Royal Dornoch, with 20% of the votes and Kingsbarns with 13.4% of the votes. Both courses are featured on the Top 100 Golf Courses of the World list. There was also an honourable mention for Wales’ Royal Porthcawl (13%), currently ranked as the 71st best golf course in the world.
Best Open Host Course
Golfers all over the world would consider a trip to St Andrews to play The Old Course to be the ultimate bucket-list golf experience. Who doesn’t want to follow in the legendary footsteps of past Open Champions and The Old Course has topped our list for Best Open Host Course.
Best Value for Money Open Host Course
Despite the difficulty and cost of getting a round on The Old Course at St Andrews the golfers in our survey still considered it to be the best value for money. Prince’s down in Kent came in second best value, a golf break there could combine 3 Open Host venues with Royal Cinque Ports & Royal St George’s right next door.