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Royal Liverpool Club — 2014 British Open Course

Royal Liverpool Club — 2014 British Open Course

Royal Liverpool Club2014 British Open Course

A brief history into the site of this season’s third Major,The Open Championship, held July 17-20, 2014 in Hoylake, England.

Royal Liverpool

Now this is a true English golf course, the Royal Liverpool Club — site of the 2014 British Open July 17-20.

This year will be the Royal Liverpool Club in Hoylake, England’s 12th time hosting The British Open (the last was in 2006 with Tiger Woods’ emotional win immediately after the death of his father), which is in its 143rd year in 2014. 

Founded on a former horse racing track in 1869, Hoylake, as the locals call the Royal Liverpool Club, was a sporty nine holes of links golf.

aBut in 1871, after the addition of another nine by designers George Morris (esteemed course crafter Tom Morris’ younger brother) and his partner, Robert Chambers, the track became a true test of British golf. Renowned course architect Harry Colt would reshape it in the early 1900s to give it basically the look we see today.

Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught (1850-1942), was so taken with the layout in 1871 that he gave it its “Royal” title, so it is now known as Royal Liverpool.

Royal Liverpool

Queen Victoria and her, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught on his 20th birthday.

Located next to the large seaport city of Liverpool in Merseyside in northwest England, the course is actually in the smaller town of Hoylake.

It is interesting to note that one young Liverpool native, a lad named John Lennon, would cut across the golf course to visit his future wife who lived in Hoylake. There is no evidence that Lennon or any of the other Beatles ever played golf there (It appears that the band was too busy writing songs that would become worldwide rock classics.).

Liverpool Club

Hoylake is just outside the seaport town of Liverpool, the hometown of The Beatles.

Hoylake would host its first British Open in 1897 when celebrated amateur Harold Hilton defeated noted professional James Braid by a single shot. Bobby Jones later secured the 2nd leg of his Grand Slam in 1930 by winning The British Open on this very course.

Royal Liverpool

Noted amateur golfer Harold Hilton won Hoylake’s first time hosting the British Open in 1897.

The layout was used regularly for British Opens up through 1967. Most of Royal Liverpool is situated on flat terrain, but the holes run right up along the seaside’s sand hills (See photo above.), so the players must be prepared for some of The British Open’s usual quirky bounces.

When the wind blows, the real fun begins. Holes with names such as “Long,” “Punch Bowl,” “Royal,” and “Alps” will have the contestants facing a 7,312-yard venue that tests all of their skills.

Royal Liverpool

While Royal Liverpool may have once had a 39-year hiatus from the British Open rotation, it’s return was memorable — and in a ho-hum 2014 season to date, golf fans desperately want to see another ’06-type performance or even a well-fought playoff. When Woods won, despite Hoylake’s challenges, the 14-time Major champ spanked the ball around the firm track with almost nothing but iron shots off the tee. Woods took The Open Championship with an amazing 18-under par, 270 total.

Now it has now been eight years since the R&A (The Royal & Ancient Golf Club or golf’s officiating body) has held a British Open at Hoylake. We’ll soon see who has the game to tame this old track and take home the Champion’s Claret Jug. And the golf world is wondering if this is where and when Woods will make more history at this storied site.

Royal Liverpool

Tiger Woods (with caddie Steve Williams) after winning the ’06 British Open following his father, coach and mentor, Earl Woods’, death two months before.

 


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