Royal Liverpool - Cheshire - England

Royal Liverpool Golf Club,
Meols Drive,
Hoylake,
Wirral,
Merseyside,
CH47 4AL,
England


  • +44 (0) 151 632 3101

  • Golf Club Website

  • 10 miles SW of Liverpool on Wirral Peninsula

  • Welcome except Thu am or weekends - contact in advance

  • Simon Newland

  • George Morris, Robert Chambers, Harry Colt

  • John Heggarty


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Royal Liverpool

Royal Liverpool was the second English course to host the Open Championship and is the fifth most used Open venue after St Andrews, Prestwick, Muirfield and Royal St George’s.

Date Winner Country
1897 Harold Hilton England
1902 Sandy Herd Scotland
1907 Arnaud Massy France
1913 John H.Taylor England
1924 Walter Hagen USA
1930 Bobby Jones USA
1936 Alf Padgham England
1947 Fred Daly N Ireland
1956 Peter Thomson Australia
1967 R. De Vicenzo Argentina
2006 Tiger Woods USA
2014 Rory McIlroy N Ireland


The Open Championship returned to Royal Liverpool Golf Club in 2006 after a 39-year gap. Hoylake, as it is called by those in the know, has a long and illustrious history of playing host to the Open, and has now staged twelve, its first in 1897. Founded in 1869, Hoylake is the second oldest seaside links course in England – only Royal North Devon is the more senior.

George Morris, brother of Old Tom, and Robert Chambers originally laid out a 9-hole course on the site of a racecourse and for the first seven years, golfers shared the land with members of the Liverpool Hunt Club. Three extra holes were soon added and in 1871, the course was extended to 18 holes. In 1872, the club received royal patronage from Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught.

Bernard Darwin reported on the coming of the Haskell, which burst onto the scene at the Amateur Championship at Hoylake in 1902. The winner Charles Hutchings and the runner-up, Sidney Fry, used the rubber-core ball. Later that same year, Sandy Herd used a Haskell and won the Open at Royal Liverpool, sounding the death knell for the “gutty” ball.

Harry Colt made alterations to the 11th and 17th holes, named Alps and Royal. He also created a new 13th hole and changed the greens at the 8th and 12th holes. In his book, Golf Between Two Wars, Bernard Darwin describes Colt’s changes and the alteration to the 16th, called the Dun: “I do not criticise the disappearance of the old cross-bunker at the Dun because that had been made inevitable by the modern ball and modern driving. It was sad to see it go if only because the soberest might fall into it after dinner – I have seen them do it – in finding their way home across the darkling links; but it had to go and the present Dun is a fine long hole. Trying not to be Blimpish and die-hard and to look at the course with eyes unblurred by sentiment, I solemnly and sincerely declare that Mr Colt made a great job of it”.

Donald Steel was commissioned to make alterations to the course; these changes included a number of new greens, tees and bunkers. The work was completed in 2001 and the course now stretches out in excess of 7,000 yards. We wonder what Darwin would make of Steel’s alterations.

The land is unusually flat, offering little in the way of definition – three sides of the course are bordered by houses and the Dee Estuary lies on the western side. When you get out onto the course, the undulations become more pronounced and, as you move away from the houses, the overall experience improves. The holes alongside the shore (9th, 10th, 11th and 12th) are the most visually appealing and very challenging.

One of Royal Liverpool’s members contacted us in June 2014 and provided the following information:

“During the 2009/10 winter, renowned golf architect Martin Hawtree carried out alterations which included, a new 17th green, reduction in bunker numbers by 14 to 82,7 new swales added to green surrounds, and broken ground was added to the rough on six holes to toughen it up. In the same winter a new £750,000 irrigation system was designed by Adrian Mortram of the STRI and installed by MJ Abbott & Co In all, the course will be 90 yards longer in 2014 for the pros at 7,312 yards par 72.”

Without doubt, Royal Liverpool is a tough links. Only six holes are in the dunes – otherwise there is little protection from the ever-changing wind. There is nothing artificial about the course. It represents a traditional, genuine test of golf and it was heart-warming to see that Hoylake examined the very best players in 2006. They came, they saw and Tiger conquered!

In 2014, the Open Championship returned to Royal Liverpool Golf Club when Rory McIlroy claimed his first Open Championship and third major title with a two-shot victory over Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler.

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Reviews for Royal Liverpool

Average Reviewers Score:
Description: Without doubt, Royal Liverpool Golf Club is a tough links. Only six holes are in the dunes – otherwise there is little protection from the ever-changing Hoylake wind. Rating: 7.6 out of 10 Reviews: 61
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Sam Mendoza
Having read a number of mixed reviews on this course with many people claiming it to be a little overrated, i still remained extremly excited to be playing here, and i wasnt dissapointed. This place is fantastic, i was lucky enough to play the course the same way round as the Pros will when the Open arrives in July, and i also got to play the 18th with the grandstand built around it. I admit that its a very flat course, and the holes that surround the practice area, maybe lack some inspiration, but the remained of the course can only be described as world class. The key to this course is the bunker placement, on almost every hole (off the yellows) you have to make a decision - lay up and have a longer approach, or take the bunkers on with a driver. These bunkers are also essential in the shape of the course, seemlessly 'framing' each of the holes. The par 3s are all very good, and also all very different, each on a different angle to the sea meaning that if their is a consistent wind, you will be required to hit different shots at all 4 of these holes. In terms of rankings, this is the highest I have played, with Saunton (East) my favourite course. Royal Liverpool (whilst different) in my opinion is better than Saunton (East), which coming from me is saying something
April 08, 2014
10 / 10
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Mark
Royal Liverpool is without doubt a high quality golf club. There is wonderful history woven into the fabric of the club from start to finish in all aspects. The great facilities, the changing rooms, lockers etc… have a quality to them and very fitting with the overall feeling of the club. This is matched by the friendly service throughout. The message is that you are a member for the day and it feels that way.In particular I was impressed by the wonderful condition of the fairways and greens, the bar feels like it has been raised and everything taken care of in the best way possible, so it does feel like a premium golfing experience.The links itself is challenging but rewarding. It really punishes the bad shots but the sense of achievement when you have worked out how to score well on a hole is fantastic. I think I would have to play it a few more times to really pick out my favourite holes and moments, but I can say that the scenery along the coastal holes is breath-taking. I’ll definitely be coming back before The Open next year.
July 21, 2013
10 / 10
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Chris Ellerby
Had the pleasure of playing an enjoyable game of golf at Royal Liverpool 10/05/13. It was my first game back after 2.5 years with some serious back trouble, so it was adventurous to say the least to start back at an Open venue. Firstly, I was taken aback by the strength of the wind when you get to the tee, it really hits you when you get past the front of the clubhouse and by all accounts it was only a 6 out of 10 on the wind scale that day! Then the first hole is very intimidating with the clubhouse on one side of the fairway and out of bounds on the other. The first few holes were a bit of a struggle as I got my swing back and some poor shots were rightly penalised, but once I hit my stride I really felt the course rewarded me for some well struck shots and some more thoughtful shot-making. It’s fair to say that you can’t just get up and hit it, you really do need to think your way around. Once we got around to the holes in the dunes, the views were really spectacular over the Dee estuary and I really enjoyed those holes. This was especially the case with a birdie on the 9th and a par on the tough, but spectacular looking par 3 11th. I managed to largely keep out of the deep bunkers that look like they have been created from lots of turf stacked on top of each other. The view from inside one of them is pretty scary and I only just managed to get out. Another thing that struck me was the condition of the place, it was in great shape and the greens were very true which made putting easier overall. After the round, we had a look around the impressiive clubhouse; it has a real sense of history and Country Gent Englishness. It’s very impressive and I’ll definitely try to get another game there over the summer now that I am back in the swing of things.Chris
May 21, 2013
10 / 10
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Joe
The course is well kept and in excellent condition all year round. A very tough course; wind is often up even on calm days. Course often plays long, and approach shots t the green are very challenging, especially the front nine. Along with the length and tough approach shots, a very imaginative short game is required. If you're not on game, you won't score low. There have been many reviews stating the course is not enjoyable, which is mainly attributed to the flatness and openness of the course. The course is flat and open, although holes 10-12 are very pleasant and undulating, also running along the dunes. There have also been many negative reviews concerning the first hole. In my opinion the sharp dog leg par 4 is a pleasingly unique opening hole to a round, which tests your game and tactics straight away. It must be stated that the course is set up differently when the Open is held here; all holes are played in different order, the 17th is the first, and the dog leg 16th par 5 is the closing hole.
May 03, 2013
8 / 10
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alan ritchie
had the (mis)fortune of playing here in july after with the typical downpour lasting all day.. Undoubtedly the weather makes an impact on your enjoyment of a course when its that bad so it was a shame.. As for the course however, they have done amazing things with a very flat piece of land and all the internal O.B adds to the course in my view.. lots of very good and very tough holes. The rough is highly penal and typical open style bunkering, always at least one bunker either side at driving distance but lacked that certain wow factor that many of the other open courses have given me.. Its probably the flatness that just counts against it I suppose but maybe I shall have to return in the sun.. Actually made it up to Murcar on this trip and would have to say i'd rather play the Aberdeenshire links ahead of Liverpool... controversial perhaps!
August 04, 2012
8 / 10
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Patrick McGarey
The rather flat layout and modest scenery probably keeps Hoylake from meriting a full six ball rating, but this course requires very strong shot-making in order to score well. A premium on long, straight driving, at least when the rough is up - as it was in July 2012 after weeks of rain. (Nothing like conditions during the 2006 Open). Very good conditioning across the board (fairways, traps, greens), and evidently a welcoming member base, as I had the pleasure to play with 3 delightful older members. The internal out of bounds on several holes did not detract from the layout, instead giving it a strong individual personality. A committed golfer might want to strongly consider playing Hoylake and the nearby (and very worthwhile) Wallasey as part of a 36 hole day. At any rate, don't miss the opportunity to play this classic.
July 11, 2012
8 / 10
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Mark
I played Hoylake a few months ago at the start of December, I couldn’t believe how good a condition it was in. With the wet weather building up to my round, I was sure it would be waterlogged, but it was in great shape. The greens in particular were very true and I can see how playing here regularly could improve your putting, you get just the right feedback from a good or bad putt. The links overall is very tough and was playing long given the lack of run, so was still a great challenge when many courses have been shortened to a driver – wedge length. The course felt a lot longer when I had been in the rough, the damp, thick rough wraps around your club and makes it really tough to hit greens if you miss fairways. It looks like the bunkers were being re-done, so they looked great, although some were GUR, I just hope I can avoid them when I play again in the summer. It seems like the challenge off the tee is well constructed as it’s clear that a well struck but offline shot will find the deep fairway bunkers. The bunkers are also a proper penalty and deterrent as it’s very tough to hit the greens from these hazards. I liked the 11th in particular, but overall I would say that all the holes are strong in their own way. The clubhouse looks great although there was an event on in the main rooms upstairs, so I am hoping for a proper tour of the memorabilia next time I play. Definitely worth the 2 ½ drive to play. I’ve just seen that it was labelled ‘The Home of Golf in England’ in this year’s Open magazine, it’s a lofty tag, but with the history on show and the quality of the course, I’d have to agree it deserves the title.
April 12, 2012
10 / 10
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Eugene Mc Daid
I was delighted to get to play Hoylake again, now for the 3rd time, but with a year or so since the last time. I have to say that I can see what people mean when they say it grows on you. Playing the course with some prior knowledge of where you need to be on the fairways to get the best shot at the green and how to avoid the killer bunkers really makes a difference. Talking of the bunkers, I managed to go in less this time, but when I was, I have to say the condition of them is second to none. There are no complaints or excuses when it’s a struggle to get out. Another thing I had in mind was that the 11th is a lot more challenging once you know more about it. It looks idyllic perched on the edge of the Dee Estuary with fantastic views 360 degrees around. Don’t be fooled, this is a tough Par 3 and a real highlight of the round. The other stand-out hole for me was the all new green on the 17th. I say green, but actually the new angle of attack makes it feel like a completely new hole... and a great one at that. It’s a tough landing area, with some intelligently placed bunkers and roll-off areas that offer a premium for accurate long iron play. Overall, I love playing at Hoylake and I can’t wait to get fit again after my knee operation and get back out ahead of the Women’s Open next year.
November 25, 2011
10 / 10
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Kevin Smith
I was a bit surprised by the comments concerning the course, unless the reviewers were playing on a calm day. I had the same impression of St. Andrews the first time I played it (in calm conditions), i.e. flat, featureless, etc. On the second round, Mother Nature kicked in and St. Andrews became a real tester. Add in the history, the round became a real experience. The same can be said for Royal Liverpool. Royal Liverpool demands precision golf to keep the ball in play and away from danger. Add in a blustery wind and this track can be a real challenge. The greens were in perfect condition, fast and rolling true. The bunkers appeared to be ready for the Open, as they were properly maintained and stone free. I would agree, though, that holes 8 through 15 have more character and the first hole is a bit underwhelming. However, thought 3 and 4 were very good holes. The layout for the Open would be my preference, i.e. 17 as the first, 18 as the second, and 1 as the third. This would make the current 16th a much better finishing hole – more risk reward and finishing with the club house framing the green. While you are there, spend a few minutes in the club house and soak in the history. Did you know the RL captains’ jackets were the inspiration for Bobby Jones and the green jacket at the Masters? If you like golf history, it’s worth the effort to stop in and take a look.
August 23, 2011
8 / 10
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Max Monroe
Overrated with a few nice holes. Most of the course is boring, flat, and non-memorable. There might be five holes that play amongst the sand dunes and they are good holes but nothing to celebrate. The Open should not be played here (take it to Ireland instead). The only impressive part of RLGC is the history of the club and its clubhouse. Don't plan a golf holiday around this club you will be disappointed, it's good at best. For what you pay to play here you wont get but half of your money in value.
July 24, 2011
6 / 10
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Luke Williams
July 26, 2012
guessing your Irish then, quite frankly royal Liverpool may provide, for the most part, a relatively flat round, but I can't imagine the R & A would choose the venue to host the open if it was unimmpressive and boring. At this years Irish open even when the bad weather turned up, royal Portrush was ripped apart by a modest field. If the same winds and showers appeared at hoylake scoring would be much higher. If portrush ever wanted to host an open championship it would have to make alterations to the course, particularly the two incredibly short par 5 9th and 10th and would also have to increase accessibility to the course.