Royal Liverpool - Cheshire - England

Royal Liverpool Golf Club,
Meols Drive,
CH47 4AL,

  • +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: 7.7 out of 10 Reviews: 73
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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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 07, 2005
6 / 10
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David Richards
Hoylake is a true links. Bring your A game or you will be in trouble. This course is as good a test of your inner game as any I have come across. You will get bad bounces, be beaten senseless by the wind and have chips and putts to make you feel ill. There are some genuinely stunning holes on this course and the 10th and 11th stand out for me. I grew up on links golf in the north of Wales and to be able to venture onto the Royal Liverpool course is a true privilege. This course will not suit everyones tastes, as it is a rough and rugged test of golf. The course is maintained to impeccable standards and affords a truly memorable round of golf. Not to be tried if you like your greens soft and receptive and you just want to enjoy a couple of hours on the course. This is a serious course for serious golfers.
May 18, 2004
8 / 10
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