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


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 stretching the course out in excess of 7,000 yards. We wonder if Darwin would approve 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.

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.

During the winter of 2009/10, Martin Hawtree carried out alterations which included a new 17th green, removal of fourteen bunkers, seven new swales added to green surrounds, and broken ground was added to the rough on six holes to toughen the challenge. The course measured 90 yards longer (7,312 yards) for the 2014 Open Championship when Rory McIlroy claimed his first Open and third major title with a two-shot victory over Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler.

At the start of 2020, having consulted with both the R&A and architect Martin Ebert, the club announced a series of course alterations to be made in advance of The Open returning to Hoylake in 2022.

These modifications included raising the front of the 4th green to allow more pin positions, moving the 7th green to the left of its current position and introducing new tees on the 8th, remodelling the 13th green with new runoff areas, creating a short par three 17th hole (with the new green positioned where the 15th tees were located), and lengthening the par five 18th.

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Reviews for Royal Liverpool

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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: 65
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Javier Pintos
I imagine that one of the best experiences in golf must be walk the 18th Hole of the Final Round at The Open Championship with the Tournament in your pocket. But as that will probably never happen to me, walking an Open Course just 10 days after the Royal Liverpool Golf Course - Photo by reviewerTournament with 2 very kind Members (Anne and Alastair) and a true golfing friend (Andy) was one of the best moments in my long golfing life and I will always be grateful for those 7 hours spent at RLGC. The day started very early with a 7am breakfast with Andy and exchanging word on what would for sure be a very special day. There was only one problem: rain, but in the UK that usually happens and you must accept it and get your rain gear and hit the ball.

Anne and Alastair arrived 7:45am and we just set up for the round of golf. You need to know that the layout for the members is different from the Open, as 1-2 for the Open are regular 17-18 which gives the course more action and drama as you have two par 5s in the final 3 holes where some birdies and eagles can be scored, as Rory McIlroy did. I will develop the review following the Open layout, as we were allowed to play the Course that way.

We really teed off Royal Liverpool Golf Course - Photo by reviewerwith heavy rain, but nothing cared as I believed the Open Championship was taking place. First 2 holes are demanding par 4s, you need to keep it straight and approach shots are not easy at all. Then dog leg 3rd is very important to make a wise decision with tee shot, as OB is all along the right side. When you arrive to tee 7th you really find difficulty and I have to say this par 4 is one of the Toughest of my “3 Royals Adventure”. Tee shot at 8th is blind and you really need to be in the right spot to have a decent angle to go for the green. 9th is a demanding and long par 3, typical of links golf while 10th (we played it into the wind) is an accessible par 5 which I bogey after missing the first three shots. It is the furthest point on the course before you start the way back. In those final 8 holes I played my A game, hitting all GIR but only making birdie on 13th. It was disappointing but a +4 76 was the final result and I have to be pretty happy with that.

The final holes, the Grand Stands, the Tents, everything made it so special that makes meRoyal Liverpool Golf Course - Photo by reviewer wanting not only to go back, but to play other Open venues with the Stands, it is a world of difference. Many pictures were taken on 18th, with Andy, Anne and Alastair, dreaming to be an Open Champion but all of them will remind me how special that moment was.

After the game and a hot soup, Andy had to leave but I stayed a couple of hours, had a shower at the Members Lockers and lunch at the Lounge before spending 2hrs at the proshop buying all kinds of merchandising. And I have to state that this proshop teaches other how to treat visitors and the variety of products they have show how they care that every visitor takes a souvenir from the course. I keep my sweater and Coffee Cup in a very special place and only use them in special occasions.

Said all this, if you are an Amateur (A lover of the game as Bobby Jones stated) you have to visit Hoylake, play it, experience it and then have the certainty that not many Clubs in the world hold so much respect for golf as they do here.
February 03, 2015
10 / 10
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Scott
I played here on Wednesday and had a thoroughly enjoyable round.If I'm honest I will a little underwhelmed with the course, I played Hillside the day after and found it visually more appealing and more of a well rounded challenge.But I'm fully aware that part of the charm of a traditional links course is in it's nuances and often there are many different ways to play the same hole. And sadly playing a course just the once does not allow you to fully appreciate this.I must say that the course was in immaculate condition, tees were back, and there were no temporary greens or preferred lies - none of which could be said about Hillside.Other reviewers have talked about how welcome guests are made to feel and it is certainly true. The starter walked me out to the first tee, we chatted about football, he told a couple of jokes, gave me some tips for certain holes and was generally happy to answer every question I had. Afterwards I was able to soak up the abundant history in the bar overlooking the 1st as if I were a member. It's a demanding course and one for the purist. I am very happy to have added it to my list of courses.
November 28, 2014
8 / 10
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Andy Newmarch
I have played here twice now, both times within a couple of weeks of the Open Championship (2006, 2014) and without a doubt both great experiences, on and off of the course. I can understand that Royal Liverpool may not be most people’s favourite of the Open rota courses but I do think that some opinions have been a little too critical; flat? boring? and non-memorable? are just not fair. The courses on the Open rota are all very special, with my personal favourites being Royal Birkdale, The Old Course, Carnoustie and Royal St. George's. One thing that is certain, it is a real pleasure to walk any of these fairways. One last note about the home of Rory’s first Open Championship win – the course is much improved eight years on.
August 16, 2014
8 / 10
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Cédric
This is a course of 2 halves, or 2 parts to be more precise. The "hilly" southern part of the course, holding the best holes (4th to 15th in the open configuration that I played, 2nd to the 13th on the regular layout if I'm not mistaken), and the rest to the north on much flatter terrain, and overall less interesting (with some exceptions). 12 great holes, and 6 that are not quite as outstanding. Of these 6, 5 have great bunkering and green complexes, leaving 1 weak hole, number 3 on the Open layout and 1st on the daily course. It remains a great course, with great history. Visitors are most welcome. Not my favorite course on the Open rota but a great course nonetheless. Nice and unusual to play with the grand stands around you too..... Cédric
May 09, 2014
8 / 10
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Harrison Brown
July 16, 2014
This is, and always be a course for the purist, the design is utterly perfect for very good golfers, but will pass higher handicappers by. And the way the club receives visitors sets the benchmark for all other clubs to follow
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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