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Best Royal Golf Clubs

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With many featuring on The Open Rota, royal courses are well known within the UK and are regularly put on the world stage. Gaining the prestigious title from the British Monarchy, becoming a royal course is of course a huge honour and one that is a testament to the quality of the golf course, facilities, service as well as its heritage.

With Open Championship host venues, past, present and future, these are courses which will excite golfing purists. So, take a look at our list below and you might be on a royal fairway soon.

Royal Birkdale Golf Club

Since gaining Royal status in 1951, Royal Birkdale has firmly established itself as one of the best golf courses in England, if not Europe. Providing a pure links test in tough conditions, the course is set up for dramatic golf, something golf fans witnessed first hand in the 2017 Open Championship.

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Quick facts about Royal Birkdale

Location: Southport, Merseyside
Length: 7,156 yards
Par: 70
Grant Royal status by: King George VI in 1951
Established: 1889

Royal St George's Golf Club

Royal St. George's hosted its first Open Championship in 1894, some eight years before it was granted Royal status by King Edward VII, and after 13 more between then and now, it is set to host again in 2020. The typical links course demands versatility and intelligence as you play on some of the most exciting and demanding holes in golf.

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Quick facts about Royal St George's

Location: Sandwich, Kent
Length: 7,204 yards
Par: 70
Granted Royal status by: King Edward VII in 1902
Established: 1887

Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club

This brilliant seaside layout is renowned for the quality of the course design, something which has been maintained and developed over the years. A difficult test for all who grace the fairways, Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club is a brilliant destination for golfers looking to play a royal course and an Open Championship venue.

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Quick facts about Royal Lytham & St Annes

Location: Lytham St Annes, Lancashire
Length: 7,118 yards
Par: 70
Granted Royal status by: King George V in 1926
Established: 1886

Royal Liverpool Golf Club

As one of the oldest seaside courses in England, Royal Liverpool naturally has tonnes of history and heritage behind it; in 1871 the course was extended to 18 holes, paving the way for the royal title in the same year. The course is rather unprotected which can cause conditions to feel more severe, although elites like Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods have won Open Championships here, so they must like it.

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Quick facts about Royal Liverpool

Location: Hoylake, Wirral
Length: 7,218 yards
Par: 72
Granted Royal status by: Queen Victoria in 1871
Established: 1869

Royal North Devon

Royal North Devon, or Westward Ho! as its commonly known, is the oldest golf course in England, dating back to 1864 and even uses the same fairways to this day. The course oozes personality with towering dunes throughout and a sharp sea breeze, however it’s returning to the traditional and iconic clubhouse which reminds you of why this course is so special.

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Quick facts about Royal North Devon

Location: Westward Ho, Devon
Length: 7,044 yards
Par: 72
Granted Royal status by: Queen Victoria in 1867
Established: 1864

Royal Cromer

The clifftop course at Royal Cromer is perfect for golfers looking for some dramatic golf with brilliant views. Designed by Tom Morris, the layout isn’t long at 6,500 yards but is still a pure links test and above all else, the club is welcoming, friendly and provides a great golfing experience.

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Quick facts about Royal Cromer

Location: Cromer, Norfolk
Length: 6,528 yards
Par: 72
Granted Royal status by: Queen Victoria in 1888
Established: 1888

Royal West Norfolk

Royal West Norfolk is located between Brancaster Bay and surrounding marshes, making it an isolated island when the tide is high. The links course is a delight for golfers of all abilities with amazing coastal views as you play.

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Quick facts about Royal West Norfolk

Location: King's Lynn, Norfolk
Length: 6,457 yards
Par: 71
Granted Royal status by: Queen Victoria in 1892
Established: 1892

Royal Portrush

As the only venue outside of England and Scotland to host an Open Championship, Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland is set to do so again in 2019. The course itself is widely considered as one of the best courses in the world, with spectacular views and an unrivalled layout.

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Quick facts about Royal Portrush

Location: Portrush, Co. Antrim
Length: 7,143 yards
Par: 72
Granted Royal status by: Queen Victoria in 1892
Established: 1888

Royal Norwich

Royal Norwich is by far the most renowned, established golf course in the area and the only course with royal status. Designed by the legendary James Braid the traditional layout is a sure test of links golf which demands accuracy and strategic thinking throughout your round.

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Quick facts about Royal Norwich

Location: Norwich, Norfolk
Length: 6,506 yards
Par: 72
Granted Royal status by: Queen Victoria in 1893
Established: 1883

Royal Cinque Ports

As two time host of The Open Championship in 1909 and 1920, Royal Cinque Ports is a truly magical golfing destination on the Kent coastline. Tall dunes, pot bunkers and a strong crosswind all contribute to the challenge that awaits as you make your way round.

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Quick facts about Royal Cinque Ports

Location: Deal, Kent
Length: 7,245 yards
Par: 71
Granted Royal status by: King Edward VII in 1910
Established: 1892

Royal Dublin

Originally designed by Harry Colt, Royal Dublin is the second oldest golf club in Ireland and displays its heritage perfectly to this day. Just a short drive from Dublin city centre, this coastal course is relatively flat for a links course but is by no means easy.

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Quick facts about Royal Dublin

Location: Dollymount, Dublin
Length: 7,269 yards
Par: 72
Granted Royal status by: Queen Victoria in 1891
Established: 1885

Royal Musselburgh

There are fewer golf clubs in the world that have more history than Royal Musselburgh, considered as the fifth club to ever be established, going back to 1774. 102 years later the club was granted royal status by Queen Victoria and has since been one of the standout venues with that title.

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Quick facts about Royal Musselburgh

Location: Prestonpans, East Lothian
Length: 6,254 yards
Par: 70
Granted Royal status by: Queen Victoria in 1876
Established: 1774

Royal Aberdeen

Royal Aberdeen is again one of the world’s most historic golf courses and is one of the classic links golf courses. The heavily bunkered course offers almost no protection from the strong coastal breezes and can cause havoc to golfers on the elevated tees in places.

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Quick facts about Royal Aberdeen

Location: Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
Length: 6,922 yards
Par: 71
Granted Royal status by: King Edward VII in 1903
Established: 1780

Royal Dornoch

As a truly legendary links golf course, Royal Dornoch has gained plaudits from some of the most famous golfers in the world, including honorary members Tom Watson and Ben Crenshaw. The beautiful scenery which surround the course make this a memorable round, regardless of how you play.

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Quick facts about Royal Dornoch

Location: Dornoch, Sutherland
Length: 6,722 yards
Par: 70
Granted Royal status by: King Edward VII in 1906
Established: 1877

Royal Troon

Having hosted one of the most dramatic Open Championships in recent times in 2016, Royal Troon is a simply stunning course. It’s the most recent club in the UK to gain royal status, with Queen Elizabeth doing so in 1978 and features some seriously iconic holes including the famous postage stamp 8th hole.

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Quick facts about Royal Troon

Location: Troon, Ayrshire
Length: 7,208 yards
Par: 71
Granted Royal status by: Queen Elizabeth II in 1978
Established: 1878

Royal St David's

Royal St David's is no stranger to hosting prestigious tournaments and has previously hosted Open Qualifying. The course itself is set in a remote part of North West Wales and keeps all golfers on their toes with all holes facing in different directions.

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Quick facts about Royal St David's

Location: Harlech, Gwynedd
Length: 6,629 yards
Par: 69
Granted Royal status by: King Edward VII in 1908
Established: 1894

Royal Porthcawl

Considered as Wales’ best links course, Royal Porthcrawl is a classic links test for all who visit. Located by the seaside, the course features several typical challenges of links golf, with many holes unprotected. Having previously hosted the 2004 Senior Open Championship, Royal Porthcrawl is a hugely popular stop as part of a South Wales Golf Tour.

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Quick facts about Royal Portcawl

Location: Portcawl, Mid Glamorgan
Length: 7,068 yards
Par: 72
Granted Royal status by: King Edward VII in 1909
Established: 1891