Royal Birkdale is proud to host the 146th edition of the Open Championship, once again. The course has hosted the British Open nine times, starting in 1954. The world’s best golfers will face the ultimate golfing challenge at Royal Birkdale when the beautiful links course located just north of Liverpool will host the Championship for the tenth time.
Fairways weave through the imposing sand dunes, providing an incredible view to the spectators at The Open. One of the most demanding opening holes of Royal Birkdale sets the stage for a true test of links golf and makes the game more challenging when the unrelenting wind blows from the Irish sea.
Tight fairways require accurate ball-striking, with few consecutive holes playing in the same direction. The finishing hole plays toward Royal Birkdale’s distinctive white Art Deco clubhouse, overlooking the 18th green where the 2017 Champion Golfer of the Year will be crowned.
The course has produced many memorable moments including Arnold Palmer’s magnificent shot out from a blackberry bush at 16 in 1961, where a plaque now sits to commemorate the feat that contributed to his first Open victory.
Royal Birkdale has also witnessed the great Peter Thomson’s first chance to the lift the Claret Jug in 1954, as well as his final of five wins in 1965. Padraig Harrington is the most recent Champion to taste success at Royal Birkdale, after overcoming injury to earn back-to-back victories in 2008.
The Open at Royal Birkdale is regarded as one of the truest tests of links golf and 2017 promises to deliver another worthy Champion Golfer of the Year.
Here are some facts and stats that you need to know about Royal Birkdale Golf Club:
- The course has hosted the British Open nine times, starting in 1954.
- Birkdale was opened in 1889 and became an early pioneer in women’s golf when club members voted to allow women to play the course for three days each week.
- Justin Rose burst onto the scene at the 1998 Open at Birkdale. Playing as a 17-year-old amateur, Rose shot 66 in the second round and was tied for second place through 36 holes. He turned professional when the tournament was over.
- Harrington is the only Irish winner at Birkdale. No Brit has ever won the Open there.
- At three over, Harrington’s 2008 score was the highest to par of the nine Open winners to conquer Birkdale. That week the course was blasted by 20-mph winds and driving rain. In the final round, only three players managed to break par.