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Royal Lytham & St. Annes

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Royal Lytham & St. Annes Hole 7

A view of the seventh hole at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club. View more Royal Lytham photos

David Cannon / Getty Images
Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club is one of the golf courses in the British Open rota. It is located in the town of Lytham St. Annes in Lancashire, England, just south of Blackpool. While it is a links course, Lytham is unusual among links in the Open rota in that it does not sit directly against the sea, and is surrounded by homes and a railway line. This is what leads the club's own website to describe it as "not a conventionally beautiful golf course."

The club undersells itself vastly with that comment, however. Royal Lytham & St. Annes is roughly eight city blocks from the sea, on the west coast of England, so golfers are buffeted by sea breezes. And Lytham is a traditional links course, with tall grasses along playing corridors, undulating fairways and greens, no trees, and pot bunkers - in fact, more than 200 bunkers total. In Golf Digest's rankings of the 100 best international courses (outside the USA), Lytham has placed inside the Top 20.

The course has produced an impressive list of champions in the many professional and amateur majors played on it, too, including Bobby Jones, Louise Suggs, Bobby Locke, Peter Thomson, Tony Jacklin, Gary Player, Seve Ballesteros and Annika Sorenstam (full list below).

• Address: Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, Links Gate, Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, England, FY8 3LQ
• Phone: +44 (0)1253 724206
• Website: royallytham.org

Photo Gallery/Course Tour: View our Royal Lytham & St. Annes photo gallery to get a look at every hole on the course, along with more course info.

Can I Play at Royal Lytham & St. Annes?

Yes. Lytham follows the common British template of offering private memberships with club benefits while also allowing the general public access to the golf course. The course offers winter/summer rates, and weekday/weekend rates. The club does require proof of handicap, however, and limits play to men with handicaps of 21 or less and women with handicaps of 30 or less. The club provides instructions for booking on its website, along with information about dress code, pace of play requirements (four hours for a fourball) and such, on its How to Book Golf page.

Royal Lytham & St. Annes Course Origins and Architects

The Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club was founded in 1886. The original course hosted the inaugural British Ladies Amateur Championship in 1893. But the golf course of today dates to 1897, and was laid out by George Lowe, the first golf professional at the club.

In 1919, Harry Colt - one of the giants from the "golden age" of golf course architecture - was brought in by the club to update the course. Colt did so by making the course longer, adding bunkers (there are now more than 200), and repositioning multiple tees and greens. Colt's work was completed in 1922. Some more minor changes were made prior to the 2012 British Open, with several new back tees constructed and about 200 yards of length added.

Royal Lytham & St. Annes Hole 13

This bunker - one of more than 200 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes - is next to the 13th hole fairway.

David Cannon / Getty Images

Royal Lytham & St. Annes Pars and Yardages

The hole-by-hole yardages and pars are for the Blue Tees, the rearmost tees at Royal Lytham:

No. 1 - Par 3 - 206 yards
No. 2 - Par 4 - 481 yards
No. 3 - Par 4 - 477 yards
No. 4 - Par 4 - 391 yards
No. 5 - Par 3 - 218 yards
No. 6 - Par 4 - 494 yards
No. 7 - Par 5 - 589 yards
No. 8 - Par 4 - 417 yards
No. 9 - Par 3 - 164 yards
Out - Par 34 - 3437 yards
No. 10 - Par 4 - 385 yards
No. 11 - Par 5 - 601 yards
No. 12 - Par 3 - 196 yards
No. 13 - Par 4 - 357 yards
No. 14 - Par 4 - 443 yards
No. 15 - Par 4 - 464 yards
No. 16 - Par 4 - 358 yards
No. 17 - Par 4 - 467 yards
No. 18 - Par 4 - 410 yards
In - Par 36 - 3681 yards
Total - Par 70 - 7118 yards

There are three other sets of tees at Royal Lytham, with different pars:

• Gold tees - 5,854 - par 75 (the clubs denotes this as the women's par)
• Green tees - 6,360 yards - par 71
• Red tees - 6,731 yards - par 71

Photo tour of Royal Lytham & St. Annes

Significant Tournaments Hosted

Important tournaments that have been played at Lytham, and their winners (click on the British Open years to view the final scores and read a recap of those tournaments):

• 1893 British Ladies Amateur: Lady Margaret Scott
• 1913 British Ladies Amateur: Muriel Dodd
1926 British Open: Bobby Jones
• 1935 British Amateur: Lawson Little
• 1948 British Ladies Amateur: Louise Suggs
1952 British Open: Bobby Locke
• 1955 British Amateur: Joe Conrad
1958 British Open: Peter Thomson
1963 British Open: Bob Charles
1969 British Open: Tony Jacklin
1974 British Open: Gary Player
1979 British Open: Seve Ballesteros
• 1986 British Amateur: David Curry
1988 British Open: Seve Ballesteros
• 1993 British Ladies Amateur: Catriona Matthew
1996 British Open: Tom Lehman
• 1998 Women's British Open: Sherri Steinhauer
2001 British Open: David Duval
• 2003 Women's British Open: Annika Sorenstam
• 2006 Women's British Open: Sherri Steinhauer
• 2007 British Amateur: Drew Weaver
• 2009 Women's British Open: Catriona Matthew
2012 British Open: Ernie Els

Lytham was also the site of the Ryder Cup in 1961 and 1977, and the 1976 Curtis Cup. In addition, the club annually hosts the Lytham Trophy, one of the top men's amateur tournaments in Britain.

More Royal Lytham & St. Annes History and Trivia

• Lytham is the only course in the Open rota that begins with a par-3 hole. The routing is unconventional: the front nine opens and closes with par-3 holes, and there is a third par-3 on the front; there is only one par-5 on the front nine. The back nine includes one par-3 and one par-5, plus seven par-4 holes.

• The first historically important tournament played at Lytham was the 1893 British Ladies Amateur Championship. Which also happened to be the very first British Ladies Am played.

• The Open Championship first visited Lytham St. Annes in 1926, and it was a year of firsts for the course and the tournament. The course was designated "Royal" that year by King George V. Bobby Jones won the British Open for the first time. It was also the first time regional qualifying was used, the first time the Open was three rounds rather than two, and the first time spectators were charged an admission fee.

• The 1958 Open at Royal Lytham required a 36-hole playoff, after which Peter Thomson had his fourth Claret Jug with a 4-shot win over Dave Thomas.

• The first left-handed golfer to win a professional major did so at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. Bob Charles claimed the 1963 British Open here after another 36-hole playoff.

• When Tony Jacklin won the Open at Lytham in 1969, he was the first British golfer to win the home major in 18 years.

• The golf balls in Britain and the United States, up until 1974, differed very slightly in diameter. The 1974 Open at Lytham was the first one played with the so-called "American ball" (1.68-inch diameter) rather than the "British ball" (1.62-inch diameter).

• Seve Ballesteros and Catriona Matthew both won two majors at Lytham St. Annes, Ballesteros' wins coming in the 1979 and 1988 British Opens. Matthew won the British Ladies Amateur Championship, a major of amateur golf, at Lytham in 1993, then won the Women's British Open here in 2009. Sherri Steinhauer won two Women's British Opens at Lytham, in 1998 and 2006. But her 1998 victory happened before the WBO was considered a major.

• Ballesteros' 1979 victory included his famous shot out of a parking lot on the 16th hole of the final round. Ballesteros got a free drop after his drive wound up in a grassed area Royal Lytham was temporarily using as an overflow car park. From the parking lot, he put his second shot on the green, then made the putt for birdie.

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