Golf Monthly’s exclusive Hole by Hole Guide with Justin Rose and Royal Birkdale pro, Brian Hodgkinson.
Ten years on from his stunning exploits around this glorious links, Justin Rose returns to Royal Birkdale and gives you the inside track on how he will be looking to tame one of England’s finest links and ultimately lift the Claret Jug.
Alongside him, who better to help you plot your way through the towering dunes than Royal Birkdlae’s head pro, Brian Hodgkinson. He has been on the staff for the last three Opens at Birkdale, dating back to 1983 and knows every swale, run-off and hollow better than anyone.
Championship tee – 450 yards
Medal Tee – 450 yards
Justin Rose says: Hole number one at Royal Birkdale requires something like a low 2-iron or maybe even a rescue off the tee, leaving yourself about 190 yards to the front of the green but obviously avoiding the bunker that sits on the corner of the dog leg on the left hand side. Really you’re just trying to hit the shot into the middle of the green there give yourself a nice solid opening par, and the green generally runs from the front right to the back left.
Brian says: Unless golfers find the centre of the fairway here they won’t be able to see the green. I imagine the players will take a long iron or utility club to give them a good view of the flag, hitting it about 220, 230 yards. From there it’s 190 to 200 yards to the green. The green doesn’t look like much, but there are some new contours and it slopes down from front to back, so those little chip shots tend to run away.