With the exception of Westward Ho! in Devon, Royal Liverpool is the oldest seaside course in England. The original layout was conceived by Robert Chambers and George Morris, and was extended to 18 holes in 1871, the same year that it was awarded its Royal status by Queen Victoria. In the early days, the links land doubled as the racecourse of the Liverpool Hunt Club, but these days the golf course takes centre stage.
Its appearance may be relatively flat and unthreatening, but when the wind picks up there is little to protect golfers, and negotiating the parched, bouncy fairways and greens is treacherous on a blustery summer's day.
In recent years, the esteemed links golf expert, Donald Steel, was commissioned to make alterations to ensure that Hoylake's layout remained relevant for the rigours of the modern game, especially in light of technological advancements. This has been achieved, and was confirmed by the successful staging of the 2006 Open Championship, where in spite of benign conditions, a competitive tournament was won by an emotional Tiger Woods.
There are some intimidating holes at this Open Championship course, not least the monstrous 8th; 1930 Open Champion took 8 en route to his legendary victory. Hoylake should be a certain stop on the tour of North-West England's excellent golfing trail.
Bobby Jones won the Open Championship at Hoylake in 1930 as part of his historic grand slam; that year he won the amateur and open championships of both Britain and America, a feat so great that he promptly retired.
|Designed by||Robert Chambers, George Morris, Harry Colt|
|Opened for play||1869|
|Previously hosted||Open Championship|
|Championship||7,312 yards||SSS 76|
|Green||6,907 yards||SSS 75|
|Yellow||6,481 yards||SSS 73|
|Red||5,878 yards||SSS 75|
Royal Liverpool is ranked as one of the best courses in England
Excellent day, early season for course so greens a little slow, caddies excellent
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