Royal Birkdale Golf Club Course Review - The course that we regard as England's very finest links first hit The Open rota in 1954 and is hosting its 10th Open Championship this month

Royal Birkdale Golf Club Course Review

Green Fee Range: £165-£245

Medal Tee: Par 72 – 6,381 Yards

Visitor Times: The course is open to visitors on Mondays, Tuesday afternoons from 14:10, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Friday mornings and some Sunday mornings between 11:30 and 12

Website: www.royalbirkdale.com

Significant Changes

Extension to the main practice tee

Royal Birkdale Golf Club Course Review

Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport hosts the Open Championship for the tenth time in 2017, and is regarded as one of the toughest, fairest and finest links in the UK.

The links at Royal Birkdale hosted its first Open as recently as 1954, but would have debuted 14 years earlier had war not intervened.

Royal Birkdale Golf Club Course Review

Since then, its place on the rota has been set in stone, and for many – Golf Monthly included – it remains England’s finest links.

The holes play predominantly along the valleys between often-imposing dunes, largely a legacy of Fred Hawtree’s and JH Taylor’s routing from the 1920s. Similar to Muirfield, Birkdale is regarded by many as one of The Open’s fairest tests.

The links sets its stall out from the start with perhaps the most demanding Open rota 1st hole, and you then play to all four points of the compass early on, with very few consecutive holes playing in the same direction throughout.

The par 3s at 4, 7, 12 and 14 are as strong a quartet as you’ll encounter, with the standout 12th playing to a steep-fronted green set in an amphitheatre of dunes.

Royal Birkdale Golf Club Course Review

Such dunes are one of Birkdale’s greatest assets, for not only do they give the holes and greens great definition and character, but they also provide excellent vantage points, making this one of the best courses for watching The Open.

The 18th, which plays back towards the instantly recognisable white art deco clubhouse, is mercifully a very modest par 5 for you and me, rather than the somewhat sterner closing par 4 that contenders for the Claret Jug face.

But despite this, few of the world’s best players will be looking forward to the 2017 Open Championship with anything other than eager anticipation.

Royal Birkdale Golf Club Hole By Hole Guide:

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Royal Birkdale Golf Club Course Review – Golf Monthly Verdict

No classic links weaves through imposing dunes more impressively than this