Royal Birkdale Golf Club
Tel: +44 (0)1704 552020
Among the many great courses along the Northwest coast, Royal Birkdale stands out as a perfect example of links golf. It is currently voted by Golf Monthly as the best course in England and the 4th best course in the British Isle and in a survey commissioned by Planet Golf for Golfing Digest it was listed as the 18th best courses outside of the United States.
The Club was formed in 1889, starting life as a nine hole course. In 1897 the decision was taken to move to Birkdale Hills where an 18 hole course was constructed. The course underwent considerable changes in the mid 1930’s when the current Clubhouse was built. There was further restructuring in the 1960’s and in the early 1990’s all of the greens were reconstructed and redesigned. In preparation for the Open Championship in 2008 and as a part of the Club’s on going improvement there have been some significant alterations carried out from 2005 to 2007 which have enabled the Club to retain its position as one of the finest links courses.
Even in the early days, the Birkdale Club was forward-thinking, with the members voting in favour of allowing ladies to use the links from 1889. Indeed, one of the first tournaments held was the 1909 Ladies' British Open Match play Championship.
The growing stature of the club was acknowledged in 1951 when the King gave his permission for the club to be known as The Royal Birkdale Golf Club.
The course has been the stage for many great golf championships including the Amateur Championship, the Walker Cup, the Curtis Cup, the Ryder Cup and the Women’s British Open. On nine occasions the greatest championship, The Open, has been played here, the most recent in 2008. In 2005, the club was the venue for both the Amateur Championship and the Women’s British Open which Royal Birkdale will host again in 2010.
The Championship Course now measures 7.180 yards. Visitors generally play the yellow tees which at 6.381 yards is a test in itself even for the most accomplished golfer. The wind, whistling down the fairways when it comes from the sea, adds to the challenge.
Each hole runs through a landscape of high dunes, the fairways are flat and fair and from the tee there is generally a clear view of the task ahead. Each hole is memorable, from The Open Championship tee the 13th measure 498 yards, one of the longest par 4s in championship golf.
Visitors to the course can walk in the footsteps of many of golf's legends, among them Open Winners, Peter Thomson, a double winner at Royal Birkdale, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller and Tom Watson. On the 16th hole, a plaque commemorates Arnold Palmer's great shot in appalling weather conditions, on the way to his Open win 1961.
The clubhouse was designed to resemble an Ocean Liner cruising through the sand hills of Birkdale. It too has undergone significant changes over the years but it has retained its distinctive art-deco style. The balconies and handrails have been replaced with enormous bay window in providing spectacular views of the 18th green and it is the only place to be on the last afternoon of The Open.
|Opening (1 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2015)|
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