18 Jul 2017

Best in the world set for Royal Birkdale test

The best players in the world will arrive in Southport this week as Royal Birkdale hosts The Open Championship for the tenth time, and the winner will join a list that reads like a Who’s Who of golf as past champions at the historic venue.

Royal Birkdale

ART DECO

The famous art-deco clubhouse was built in 1935 and stands as one of the most eye-catching buildings among the links courses on The Open rotation. It overlooks the 18th green and can also be seen coming up the ninth fairway. The course is similar to Muirfield in that the holes meander in all different directions, making it tough to play on a windy day. At the classic loops of holes at St. Andrews if the wind is consistent it will blow one way for nine holes and then the opposite way for the back nine.

Modified

Prior to the 2008 Open some changes were made and only holes 12 and 7 were not modified to some degree. Most of the changes were designed to make the players think about the way they plotted the course. Many bunkers were moved or redesigned and 20 new ones were added with 14 removed. New undulations were added to the surrounds of several greens for the benefit of spectators while the 17th green was moved back and completely overhauled.

New tee boxes

Six new tee boxes added 155 yards to make the overall length 7,173 yards – modest by today’s standards. But if the weather plays its part (as it should) then scoring should be tough and Harrington’s winning score of 3-over from 2008 is a testimony to that. No major changes have been made since those alterations before the last Open at Birkdale.

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