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Royal Liverpool Golf Club

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Royal Liverpool Golf Club Hole No. 10

A view of the 10th hole at Royal Liverpool. Check the Royal Liverpool photo gallery for more.

Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images
Royal Liverpool Golf Club is actually located outside of Liverpool, in the town of Hoylake, in Wirral, England. The course is often referred to as "Hoylake." If you read or hear a golfer or golf journalist or historian referring to a British Open played at Hoylake, they are talking about Royal Liverpool.

Royal Liverpool's history dates to the 1860s (more on that below) and the course, when it opened, was just the second seaside links in England.

The course, part of the Open rota, has all the defenses of a links - moguls and mounds and uneven stances; deep pot bunkers and thick heather; and wind. While some of the greens are flatter than at many other links, wind - blowing in off the Irish Sea - is the biggest defense offered at Royal Liverpool. The club's epigraph might be the words written by golf journalist Bernard Darwin: "Hoylake, blown upon by mighty winds, breeder of mighty champions." When the wind isn't blowing, top golfers can shoot good scores. When it is, scores can go high.

The club is also known for its substantial collection of golf memorabilia, which is viewable by visitors throughout the clubhouse.

• Address: Meols Drive, Hoylake, Wirral, CH47 4AL, UK
• Phone: (0)151 632 3101
• Website: royal-liverpool-golf.com

Photo gallery: View our Royal Liverpool photo gallery to get a look at the links.

Can I Play Royal Liverpool?

Yes, Royal Liverpool Golf Club is a membership club, but the golf course is open to the public. As the club's website puts it: "The Club enjoys sharing our great course and Clubhouse with golfers from home and abroad."

However, visitors to Royal Liverpool must have handicaps of 21 or less for men and 32 or less for women, and you must provide proof of handicap to play.

Guests can book online via the Royal Liverpool website linked above. If you want to play at Hoylake, be sure to check the club's Visitors page for information about dress code and green fees, plus other "guidance notes" for guests.

Royal Liverpool Course Origins and Architect

In 1869 the "Hoylake links," originally nine holes, were built on land that had previously been a horseracing course owned by the Liverpool Hunt Club. Liverpool Golf Club's original links were laid out by Robert Chambers and George Morris (brother of Old Tom Morris).

In 1871, the links was lengthened to 18 holes, and Royal Liverpool today continues to have the one 18-hole links. The year 1871 also marks the point at Liverpool Golf Club was rechristened Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

Royal Liverpool began to takes its place of importance in British golf in 1885, when it hosted the very first British Amateur Championship. The Open Championship first visited Hoylake in 1897.

Harry Colt, one of the giants of the "golden age" of golf course architecture, redesigned the links in 1924. More recently, architect Donald Steel led a refurbishment, which included lengthening, prior to the 2006 British Open.

Royal Liverpool Pars and Yardages

Royal Liverpool Golf Club Hole No. 18

A view up the approach to the 18th green at Royal Liverpool.

Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images
Below are the yards and pars for the back tees at Royal Liverpool, which are called the White Tees (the name of each hole is listed in parentheses):

No. 1 - Par 4 - 427 yards (Course)
No. 2 - Par 4 - 371 yards (Road)
No. 3 - Par 5 - 528 yards (Long)
No. 4 - Par 3 - 200 yards (New)
No. 5 - Par 4 - 451 yards (Telegraph)
No. 6 - Par 4 - 421 yards (Briars)
No. 7 - Par 3 - 196 yards (Dowie)
No. 8 - Par 5 - 533 yards (Far)
No. 9 - Par 4 - 390 yards (Punch Bowl)
Out - Par 36 - 3517 yards
No. 10 - Par 4 - 446 yards (Dee)
No. 11 - Par 3 - 193 yards (Alps)
No. 12 - Par 4 - 454 yards (Hilbre)
No. 13 - Par 3 - 158 yards (Rushes)
No. 14 - Par 5 - 552 yards (Field)
No. 15 - Par 4 - 457 yards (Lake)
No. 16 - Par 5 - 558 yards (Dun)
No. 17 - Par 4 - 449 yards (Royal)
No. 18 - Par 4 - 434 yards (Stand)
In - Par 36 - 3701 yards
Total - Par 72 - 7218 yards

Note that the course routing at the 2006 Open was different from the order listed above. The 17th hole for members played as the No. 1 hole at the Open, the 18th hole played as the No. 2, and so on, until the pros finished with No. 16 as their 18th hole.

There are three other sets of tees at Royal Liverpool:

  • Green: par 72, 6,921 yards
  • Yellow: par 72, 6,237 yards
  • Ladies: par 76, 5,863 yards
Photo gallery of Royal Liverpool

Significant Tournaments Hosted

Important tournaments that have taken place at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, and their winners (click on the British Open years to view the final scores and read a recap of that event):
  • 1885 British Amateur - Allen MacFie
  • 1887 British Amateur - Horace Hutchinson
  • 1890 British Amateur - John Ball
  • 1894 British Amateur - John Ball
  • 1896 British Ladies Amateur - Amy Pascoe
  • 1897 British Open - Harold Hilton
  • 1898 British Amateur - Freddie Tait
  • 1902 British Amateur - Charles Hutchings
  • 1902 British Open - Sandy Herd
  • 1906 British Amateur - James Robb
  • 1907 British Open - Arnaud Massy
  • 1910 British Amateur - John Ball
  • 1913 British Open - J.H. Taylor
  • 1921 British Amateur - Willie Hunter
  • 1924 British Open - Walter Hagen
  • 1927 British Amateur - William Tweddell
  • 1930 British Open - Bobby Jones
  • 1933 British Amateur - Michael Scott
  • 1936 British Open - Alf Padgham
  • 1939 British Amateur - Alexander Kyle
  • 1947 British Open - Fred Daly
  • 1953 British Amateur - Joe Carr
  • 1956 British Open - Peter Thomson
  • 1962 British Amateur - Richard Davies
  • 1967 British Open - Roberto De Vicenzo
  • 1969 British Amateur - Michael Bonallack
  • 1975 British Amateur - Vinny Giles
  • 1989 British Ladies Amateur - Helen Dobson
  • 1995 British Amateur - Gordon Sherry
  • 1996 British Ladies Amateur - Kelli Kuehne
  • 2000 British Amateur - Mikko Ilonen
  • 2006 British Open - Tiger Woods
  • 2012 Women's British Open - Jiyai Shin
  • 2014 British Open - Rory McIlroy
Royal Liverpool also was the site of the 1983 Walker Cup and 1992 Curtis Cup.

More Royal Liverpool History and Trivia

Royal Liverpool Golf ClubPhoto courtesy of Where2Golf.com; used with permission
  • With the Liverpool links dating to 1869, the course is the second-oldest seaside links in England. Among links courses on the England coast, only Westward Ho! is older than Liverpool.

  • For the first seven years of its life, the Liverpool links was still used as a racecourse for horses. (That should give you an idea of the rough conditions at 19th century golf courses!) The names of the first and 18th holes - Course and Stand, respectively - reference the racing heritage of the links. "Course" refers to the racecourse, and "Stand" refers to the viewing stands for patrons of the horse races.

  • The very first British Amateur Championship was played at Royal Liverpool in 1885.

  • An international match of amateur teams between Great Britain and the USA was played at Royal Liverpool in 1921. This was the "unofficial" beginning of the Walker Cup, which was first played as an "official" event under the "Walker Cup" name in 1922.

  • Two of the greats of early amateur golf - John Ball and Harold Hilton - were Royal Liverpool Golf Club members. Ball won a record eight British Amateur titles (plus one Open), and Hilton won four Amateurs plus two Opens.

  • The first golfer from outside of Great Britain to win a British Open did so at Liverpool: Arnaud Massy of France in 1907.

  • The second victory of Bobby Jones' "impregnable quadrilateral" (the Grand Slam) in 1930 happened at Hoylake. Jones won the 1930 British Open at Royal Liverpool, shortly after having won the Amateur. He went on to win the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open to complete the slam.

  • The first Irish golfer to win a major did so at Royal Liverpool: Fred Daly at the 1947 Open.

  • Tiger Woods famously won the 2006 British Open almost entirely without the use of his driver. The lack of wind and dry conditions that year allowed Woods to use irons almost exclusively from the tee.
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