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

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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: 61
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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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Andy
Played here recently on the back of the return of the Open Championship to follow in the footsteps of the best. Really enjoyed the course and this was a decent test – inevitable wind and deep bunkers are really tricky. Had a go at holing out from 190 yards on the 14th like Tiger did, guess what I missed! Got my safe double bogey though! Is it flat? Yes – Are there many dunes? No… does it matter – definitely not. The wind and the deep bunkers are plenty to deal with and it is easy to run up some big scores. There is still a nice buzz around two months on and all the staff remain on a high after the world’s best came to town. Received a warm welcome at the course from all the staff – a credit to the club and the area.
September 15, 2006
8 / 10
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michael ball
i had the ultimate privilage to play hoylake 4 days after the open and couldnt of asked for more, i have never and probably never will put on truer greens, sheer golfing indugence to play a course in championship condition on the driest looking but still plenty of grass on the fairways, then i birdied the 13th and got up down on the 12th where tiger couldnt. i was a bit naughty as they told me play of the yellow markers but stuff that i played off the green markers and got much better value for my golf even if i did finish with 2 doubles and bogey and on par 5's. the club house was beautiful with a great lunch and lots of history to look at, maybe my name sake john ball visited me that great day, thanks hoylake for wonderful open championship and wonderful round.
September 10, 2006
10 / 10
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Hugh
Some would say it's flat and boring and I'd agree with the flat bit but boring it certainly isn't... it's a supreme test of golf albeit a bit austere. As the historc 2006 Open looms I was actually looking forward to seeing a couple of girls embarrass themselves from the tips of this monster layout. Sadly Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie have today ruled themselves out and I think it's right too... this is a bloke's competition not a mixed event. I can't wait to play here again later this year once the Open circus has moved on.
March 15, 2006
8 / 10
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Hugh
If it’s tradition you’re looking for, look no further than Royal Liverpool. The clubhouse is full of old wood and silverware and the course saw the beginnings of golf in England. I will look on with interest when the Open returns in 2006. I have no idea how they will cope with the crowds and tented villages etc. The course is not the most inspiring in the land and many would say that it’s flat and boring but make no mistake it’s a true, honest and tough test of links golf. Not keen on the internal OOB – which comes in to play right from the off. The 17th is one of my favourites and is a tough par four. Undeniably a top quality course that has to be played but I personally prefer Birkdale and Hillside. Hugh
April 08, 2005
6 / 10
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