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Discover the Open Golf Courses in England

Jan 15, 2015 5:34 PM
There are several great golf courses in England that you should play when enjoying your European golf vacations. Being a Scot I would propose that you first play the historic courses from the home of golf - Scotland. Due to the coverage of The Open the golf courses in England are becoming famous and worth playing. Following is a list of the six championship courses that have held the event through the years.

Strangely the top golf courses in England where The Open Championship has been held are located in only two regions of the country. The first area is the county of Kent on the south-east corner of the country just south of London. The other area is up in the north-west between Blackpool and Liverpool.

Golf Courses In England - The North-West

Between Scotland in the north and Wales in the south is the coastline of the northwest region of England. The links of three of The Open golf courses are to be found here. You can easily reach this area by flying to either Manchester or Liverpool airports which are both about an hours drive from the golf courses. Why not make Liverpool a base for playing the three courses as it is a beautiful city - as well as being home to The Beatles.

Royal Liverpool known as Hoylake was the first course in the north west to hold The Open and it also happens to be the second oldest links golf course in England. Starting from 1897 it has held the event a total of 11 times about once every decade until 1967. After several decades the event was again held at Royal Liverpool in 2006 and Tiger Woods was the champion. The US amateur Bobby Jones won here in 1930 and was to go on to complete an unmatched grand slam of golf.

Royal Lytham & St. Annes was established in 1897 but had to wait until 1926 to host its first Open. You will find that it is a fantastic and very challenging links course with its more than 200 bunkers to navigate. Several golfing legends have won here: The US amateur Bobby Jones in 1926 the Englishman Tony Jacklin in 1969 the South African Gary Player in 1974 the Spaniard Seve Ballesteros in 1979 and 1988 and others.

Royal Birkdale was the last English golf course to become an Open venue; from its first event in 1954 it has been privileged to host The Open almost twice each decade with the latest in 2008. It has become a very popular course and also a very lucky course for US golf pros. Americans have won The Open here five times out of eight; the other three being won by Australians Peter Thompson in 1954 and 1965 and Ian Baker-Finch in 1991.

Golf Courses In England - The South East

The three Championship courses in the south-east of England are all situated on the south coast in the county of Kent. For visitors Kent is easily accessible due to its close proximity to London. The countryside of Kent is considered the most beautiful in the country and there are several picturesque villages that you can stay in that makes a good base for playing all three courses.

Royal St. Georges is probably the best known of the English courses as it was the first to host the event in 1894 and it has hosted it 13 times in total. If you are on your European golf vacation make this course one of your priorities. The golfing legends of yesteryear Harry Vardon and Walter Hagan both won here twice each. In recent times Royal St. Georges has witnessed many great events including the 1993 Open when Greg Norman fought off Bernhard Langer and Nick Faldo with a near perfect 64 on the final day.

Royal Cinque Ports known as Deal held The Open only twice back in 1909 and 1920 and so is less well known. Unfortunately further events were canceled here because of the War in 1915 and because of very high tides in 1938 and 1949 which rendered the course unplayable. As it is close to Royal St. Georges it is worth your while to play a round here; you will find it a very challenging course.

Princes golf course only held The Open once in 1932; Gene Sarazen played impeccable golf to win with a score of 283 a Championship record which stood for 18 years. Unfortunately the beautiful course was used for bombing practice by the RAF in WWII. Restoration was carried out in the 50s which re-routed much of the course and integrated 17 of the original greens which had amazingly escaped damage.

These are the six Championship golf courses in England that you can play; your only problem might be fitting in the six in one trip as they are at opposite corners of the country. Remember that you will have to book tee times in advance and you should visit each courses website to find out about the dress code for each course and clubhouse.