When the Open visited Royal Birkdale in 2008 we saw just how punishing a tough links can be in strong winds.

Unlike many other Major venues, Birkdale has always been a stern, but fair, test – The R&A didn’t have to add too many teeth to push the world’s best to the limit.

Each hole is beautifully framed, with many high tees affording clear views of the hole (and dangers) ahead.

Often, the natural dunes create the feel of an amphitheatre, separating holes perfectly and allowing you to appreciate each individual challenge in isolation.
This is one devilishly beautiful stretch of land.