Get your round! While the pros tee off tomorrow at the 150th Open in St. Andrews, amateurs can compete on these grandiose championship courses
- Follow in the footsteps of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy at these golf courses
- Woods won the 2006 Royal Liverpool Open in Wirral shooting from 18 under par
- Enjoy sweeping views across the North Atlantic from Royal Portrush in Antrim
As we think Wimbledon We consider it the biggest tennis tournament in the world The opening as the most respected golf major in the world – and tomorrow celebrates its 150th anniversary in the home of golf, St Andrews in Scotland.
As with many venues on The Open’s rota, you don’t need to be a PGA pro to play (although you do need a handicap certificate). So book your tee time, load up your clubs and look forward to stomping up sacred fairways and following in the footsteps of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy on these sensational championship courses.
This week, professional golfers line up to celebrate the 150th anniversary of The Open at the home of golf, St Andrews in Scotland (above).
Rory McIlroy is training at St Andrews this week ahead of The Open
St Andrews is perched on a natural, bare-looking cliff overlooking the North Sea, close to the pretty Scottish town of the same name. The Old Lady, as it is called, is a classic links course with wide and narrow fairways, dense gorse, dry stone walls and knee-high rough. The 17th, the Road Hole, is one of golf’s most feared holes – you shoot over the Old Course Hotel to the fairway.
On Scotland’s Gulf Coast, the privately owned Muirfield Golf Course is steeped in history – with golfing records dating back to 1744. Some say it’s not as pretty as Royal Portrush, but the driveway to the 12th, overlooking the village of Gullane across a sunken green, may convince you otherwise.
Founded in 1889, Royal Birkdale in Southport is possibly England’s most popular links venue. Its most distinctive feature is its huge dunes, which are interspersed with well-cut fairways.
It’s also home to one of the most challenging opening holes on the open circuit. Surrounded by monumental dunes covered in dense rough, the par 3 12th hole is the star of the show.
Golf on the Edge: The magnificent views of Royal Portrush in County Antrim near Giant’s Causeway
Royal Portrush sits on a bumpy headland in County Antrim near Giant’s Causeway. Five-time Open champion Tom Watson once said, “It’s as beautiful a course as you’ll ever play,” and he wasn’t wrong. Some holes, like the fifth, end on green feet off the sandy White Rock beach and offer sweeping views over the North Atlantic.
The Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent, hosted the first Open Championship outside of Scotland in 1894. It may seem easy on the eye, but Jack Nicklaus had his worst result as a pro here in 1981. Challenges range from blind holes and bumps and bumps to dangerous fescue grass and one of the scariest bunkers on the Open Circuit – the Himalayas on the fourth which is 40 feet deep.
Royal Liverpool or Hoylake in the Wirral was founded in 1869 and was a racecourse and links golf course for the first seven years of its existence and still indicates its dual use today. It’s an expansive, wide-open, relatively flat and largely dune-free course, meaning it has more exposure to the elements. Tiger Woods won the 2006 Open here by 18 under par, using his driver just once all week.