Favourite Open Championship Courses

05 October 2010 Respond to this article

Favourite Open Championship Courses

Top 100 Editor finally gets round to playing all nine current Open Championship courses

5th October 2010

TurnberryI recently played Royal Liverpool at Hoylake for the first time. Many people reading this will wonder why the Editor of Top 100 Golf Courses has taken until now to play one of – if not THE – most important and historical English golfing venue. The short answer is time, or rather lack of it. It takes a great deal of time – and money – to play different golf courses but I’m pleased to have played Hoylake even though it is my least favourite Open Championship course. I’ve now played all the current Open courses but my personal quest continues as I have yet to experience Musselburgh Old and Prince’s.

The Open Championship was first played in 1860 at Prestwick and since then only fourteen venues have been used to host this reverent Major. Unlike many US Open venues, each and every one of these fourteen Open courses live up to their open reputation and can be played simply by booking a tee time in advance. The only exception to the rule is St Andrews, which will require a little luck in the daily ballot.

Nine venues remain on the current Open rotation and they are all household names. I do not normally publish my personal thoughts about my favourite courses, but I thought there might be some interest and healthy debate from those who, like me, have played the full set of all nine current Open courses.

Royal BirkdaleIf you have played them all, I’d be grateful if you would respond to this article by clicking on the “respond to this article” link at either the top or bottom of this feature. Please detail your favourite Open venues in your own personal ranking order. If you haven’t played them all, please keep your opinion under wraps until you have.

Here’s my ranking for the current Open venues:

1. Turnberry (Ailsa)
2. Royal Birkdale
3. Royal Lytham & St Annes
4. Muirfield
5. Carnoustie (Championship)
6. Royal St George’s
7. St Andrews (Old)
8. Royal Troon (Old)
9. Royal Liverpool

These are the other five venues that have hosted the Open: Royal Portrush (Dunluce), Prestwick, Royal Cinque Ports, Prince’s, Musselburgh Old. I'm aiming to play Prince's and Musselburgh Old as soon as I can.

Keith Baxter – Editor