The Amateur

Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake hosted the first Amateur Championship in 1885. Scotsman Allan Fullarton Macfie won the inaugural event, but the R&A did not consider the first tournament to be official until 1922 when Macfie was finally added to the list of Amateur champions.

Since 1885 The Amateur Championship match play finals have been staged on only 22 principal courses. Since 1984, however, the first two days of the tournament have been contested in stroke play format across two courses, the principal course and a second local course. José María Olazábal won the 1984 title when Formby, the main club, co-hosted the stroke play qualifying stage with Southport & Ainsdale. Since 1984, an additional 25 courses have co-hosted the championship.

The Amateur Championship trophy

Entry to the Championship is now given to almost 300 applicants from around the world, with around half the places reserved for players from the UK and Ireland. Major golf nations are allocated entries on a quota basis, with national golf federations liasing with the R&A on selection.

The first stage of the Championship involves two rounds of 18 holes, one on each of two courses, over the first two days. The 64 lowest scores and ties for 64th then compete in the match play stages on the event's main course, with seeding according to qualifying scores. Each match is played over 18 holes, except for the Final, which is over 36 holes.

The winner is invited to three of the recognised major championships, namely The Open, the following year’s Masters Tournament and US Open, provided the player remains an amateur competitor.

John Ball of Liverpool won eight of the ten finals that he contested between 1888 and 1912. He’s a...

The Amateur host courses


4th Lancashire - Best in Area 23rd England Ranking 52nd Britain & Ireland Ranking

Formby is the prettiest of the eight top-notch links courses located between the seaside town of St Annes and the city of Liverpool. It is bordered on three sides by pine trees, giving the links a decidedly softer, heathland feel.


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1st Yorkshire - Best in Area 8th England Ranking 25th Britain & Ireland Ranking 77th World Ranking

This sandy, gently undulating site was once a North Sea inlet. Consequently, Ganton Golf Club has all the characteristics of a links and a heathland course.


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3rd Lancashire - Best in Area 22nd England Ranking 51st Britain & Ireland Ranking

Hillside Golf Club is an underrated gem, separated only by a footpath, but hiding in the shadow of its noble next-door neighbour, Royal Birkdale.


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1st Lothians - Best in Area 3rd Scotland Ranking 4th Britain & Ireland Ranking 14th World Ranking

Muirfield is the course of “The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers” (HCEG), the world’s oldest golf club – according to direct written evidence – formed in 1744.


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3rd Ayrshire & Arran - Best in Area 14th Scotland Ranking 34th Britain & Ireland Ranking

The course at Prestwick Golf Club is a traditional monument, an authentic affair with a layout of holes that snake to and fro through rugged dunes and rippled fairways.


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The Amateur Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Stuart Eastwood Courses Played 22
= Paul Rudovsky Courses Played 22
= Ian Poysden Courses Played 22
= Kimi Hoshiyama Courses Played 22
= Chris Stott Courses Played 22
= Andy Newmarch Courses Played 22
= Brian Ward Courses Played 22
= Brian Inglis Courses Played 22
= Jeffrey M Courses Played 22
= Steve MacQuarrie Courses Played 22