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Discover The Open Golf Courses In England

Jul 10, 2008
There are several great golf courses in England that you should play when enjoying your European golf vacations. Being a Scot, I would propose that you first play the historic golf courses from the home of golf - Scotland. Due to the coverage of The Open, the golf courses in England are becoming famous and worth playing. Following is a list of the six championship courses that have held the event through the years.

I am not sure why, but The Open golf championship is held in golf courses in England that are sited in two distinct regions of the country. There are three in the south east corner of England in the county of Kent, to the south of London. Then there are another three that are located on the north west coast, between Liverpool and Blackpool.

Golf Courses In England - The North West

The north west coastline of England runs from Scotland in the north to Wales in the south. This is were three of the Championship golf courses in England are to be found. You will have no problem reaching this area as it is served by flights into both Manchester and Liverpool airports. As a base for playing these three courses you can't go wrong with the home of the Beatles - Liverpool.

Royal Liverpool, known as Hoylake, was the first course in the north west to hold The Open and it also happens to be the second oldest links golf course in England. Starting from 1897 it has held the event a total of 11 times, about once every decade until 1967. After several decades, the event was again held at Royal Liverpool in 2006 and Tiger Woods was the champion. The US amateur, Bobby Jones won here in 1930 and was to go on to complete an unmatched grand slam of golf.

Royal Lytham & St. Annes was established in 1897 but had to wait until 1926 to host its first Open. You will find that it is a fantastic and very challenging links course with its more than 200 bunkers to navigate. Several golfing legends have won here: The US amateur Bobby Jones in 1926, the Englishman Tony Jacklin in 1969, the South African Gary Player in 1974, the Spaniard Seve Ballesteros in 1979 and 1988, and others.

Royal Birkdale is the newest of the courses in England to hold The Open. Since 1954 it has held the event regularly, nearly twice a decade, up to 2008. With its towering sand dunes, it is a popular golf course and, you could say, a lucky golf course for the US golfers. Even though Peter Thompson won here in 1954 and 1965, and Ian Baker-Finch in 1991, Americans have taken top spots in the other 5 events.

Golf Courses In England - The South-East

On the south coast of the county of Kent, just south of London, you will find the other three Championship courses. When visiting the area you will have easy access as it is close to London. If you are staying to play the three courses here, you will be better of finding a picturesque village to stay at surrounded by the beautiful scenery of Kent.

Royal St. Georges is probably the best known of the English courses as it was the first to host the event in 1894 and it has hosted it 13 times in total. If you are on your European golf vacation, make this course one of your priorities. The golfing legends of yesteryear, Harry Vardon and Walter Hagan, both won here twice each. In recent times Royal St. Georges has witnessed many great events including the 1993 Open when Greg Norman fought off Bernhard Langer and Nick Faldo with a near perfect 64 on the final day.

Royal Cinque Ports or Deal is less well known as it as only held The Open twice, in 1909 and 1920. Other events were planned, but due to bad luck, the events were canceled in 1915 due to the War and in 1938 and 1949 due to storms and high tides. As it is a very challenging golf course it is still worth playing though.

Prince's is a Championship course which you have probably not heard of before because it was only used once in 1932 to hold The Open. Golf legend Gene Sarazen won that year with a faultless display of golf and scored 283, which was a Championship record that was unbeaten for 18 years. Incredibly, the beautiful Prince's course was used by the Royal Air Force for bombing practice during WW II. Renovation of the course was carried out in the 50's which managed to include the use of 17 of the original greens which stood undamaged by the bombs.

There you have the only six Championship courses in England that you should consider playing - the only difficulty might be playing all six as the north west is quite far from the south east. You will need to book your tee times in advance and you should check each of their websites for information on dress code for the golf courses and the clubhouses.
About the Author
Mick Euan Tait is a golf fan, golfer, and a golf writer. Visit his website for more facts about Golf In England and Golf In Scotland.
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