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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Ted
First thing that strikes you is the magnificent clubhouse, the history and memorabilia inside need to be taken in, very special. The course itself is a tough examination, the rough at present is penal - you need both draws and fades off the tee to play this well. When on the course you find it is far from featureless, missing greens often leaves a very tricky pitch, all in all it is pleasing to see it back on the open rota. We were very well looked after also by friendly and professional staff.
July 11, 2008
8 / 10
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Carl
A great course in superb condition and steeped in history. Played in March 08 for £50 which included a bacon sandwich and coffee, the round and then soup and sandwiches. Great value, but expensive when paying the full price. The course is flat in places but that does not detract from the quality of the design and enjoyment. My only disappointment was that the yellow tees were almost next to the ladies making it less than 6000 yards. As a single figure handicapper it would be nice to experience more of the test that this course will provide. Not as pretty as the Souhtport courses but an excellent golf course.
March 19, 2008
8 / 10
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Max Monroe
Played Hoylake last June and enjoyed the overall experience. The course is not all that it is hyped up to be, clearly over rated in the rankings. The course is dead flat except for a few holes, the bunkers are as difficult as you will find anywhere. Play away from the fairway bunkers at all costs and the course isn't that hard in calm conditions. The club has the Open Championship feel it just isn't an exciting course, lacks good views, has a few fun links shots. The club house is fantastic and the clubs history is second to none, locker rooms are first class. The pro shop, starter and reception area is a bit commercial / corporate that is a negative. Best holes are 1, 9, 11, 13, 17. Very nice practice ground with short game area. It isn't worth the money but is worth a quick visit to have a look around.
February 10, 2008
6 / 10
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Richard Smith
I was able to play Hoylake about a week after the 2006 Open, and the course was actually in very nice condition, despite the appearance on television. This is a very good golf course. The holes present you with a variety of challenges and the greens can be subtly difficult. The members were all very polite and justifiably proud of their course and how it held up during the Open.My only complaint is that they force visitors to play from some ridiculously short tees. We probably played the course at under 6000 yards versus the 7400 yard set-up for the open. While I am not an advocate of "playing from the tips" just to satisfy my ego, I do like to play a course and be presented with similar challanges to the champion players. I can't see why they don't set the course up to 6700 or 6800 yards for single digit handicap golfers so they can better appreciate the challenges of the course.That being said, Royal Liverpool should be on the Open rotation for some time and I believe will present some memorable championships in the future.Richard Smith, Knoxville, Tennessee
December 15, 2007
8 / 10
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Russell Lambert
May 10, 2010
We also had to play from tees about as far forward as they could go. It significantly shortened the course and lessened the challenge and makes you feel a little short changed as you only get to play half the course.
ogi
I found every hole to be a good hole. The routing is interesting and varied. The use of bunkers is very strategic. This is one of golf's true gems.
December 03, 2007
10 / 10
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Tom Way
I felt that Royal Liverpol Links is a dull un inviting contribution to todays modern golfing society. The flat featureless terrain contributed in no way to interferring with or even creating challenging play. Its maintenance was the only attribute to this otherwise shambollic course.
December 01, 2007
2 / 10
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Russell Lambert
Played Royal Liverpool a month after the Open. The clubhouse is magnificent both inside and out but couldn't help being underwhelmed by the course. No doubt it's tough but it lacks any really memorable holes. 9-15 (on the Open layout) in the dunes are good but the rest of the course is flat with no definition to the holes. If you're visiting the North West I would recommend any of the Southport courses particularly Hillside over Hoylake.
June 19, 2007
4 / 10
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Tom Way
December 01, 2007
I felt that Royal Liverpol links was a disssipointing exception to todays modern golfing society, as i walked down the 18th I felt manipulated into spending so much on playing what I perceive as a simple well kept course. The green staff should try adding a few more features and obstacles to interfere with play. If you want to play a mature and exhilirating course should play marlborugh golf club its value and quality of condition is incomparable to LIverpool Links.
papa rabbi
What a tough course! I played in a competition there a few weeks back and really struggled. The wind was described by a local as 'fresh' however I thought it pretty damn windy! I am a fairly long hitter and often struggled to get anywhere near the green in two (We were playing off the back tees). Although I played no-where near my handicap it was a fun couple of days and I thought nearly as difficult as Royal Lytham St Annes but austere rather than magnificient. Royal Birkdale remains my favourite of all the NW courses...by a clear margin.
June 05, 2007
8 / 10
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Neil
I have played all of the courses on the current Open rota. Royal Liverpool is barely fit to be listed alongside BirkdaleMuirfield etc. It is flat, forgettable and pointless.
April 03, 2007
4 / 10
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Chris Jones
April 26, 2007
Very harsh and not that constructive really. I agree flat - but no way pointless.
Sam Cooper
July 23, 2013
I have been fortunate to play Royal Liverpool as a member for the past 10 years, and have also had the privilege of playing Birkdale (12+ times) and Muirfield (6 times). Having experienced them all and as a low single figure handicapper, I can say without doubt whilst the latter two are exceptional courses, they provide no sterner test of golf than Hoylake. OK Hoylake is flat, and Birkdale has plenty of big dunes, but you're a short sighted individual if that's how you judge a course.
Tom Sleater
I was fortunate enough to play for 2 days back to back about a month after the open with my friend who is a member. This is a spectacular test of golf and plays very differently hole to hole. The views on the inward stretch are fab. The staff are warm and receptive and the facilities top notch. Would highly recommend.
March 22, 2007
10 / 10
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