More often than not, when golfers think of travel to the British Isles, they focus on Scotland…closely followed by Ireland. In reality, one of the greatest stretches of coastline, which serves as home to a superior grouping of links courses, is the Lancashire coast of England. Situated northwest of Manchester and facing Dublin across the Irish Sea, the Lancashire coast is home to some classic links…
The R&A have announced that Royal Liverpool Golf Club will host The Open Championship in 2014. It will be the 12th time the Hoylake links has hosted golf’s oldest Major.
It has always been one of the finest and most enjoyable venues on the Lancashire coast, however during an almost 40 year absence from the British Open rota between 1967 when Argentinean Roberto De Vicenzo became the first South American to win a Major, and 2006 when Tiger Woods became a back-to-back Open Champion, it arguably did not receive the attention of the golfing world which it deserved. It has certainly been a consistent favorite with PerryGolf clients, and indeed we have taken passengers here on our golf cruises to enjoy this great links course on a number of occasions.
The Club has a rich and illustrious history. In 1885 the links hosted the first Amateur Championship; in 1902 the first ever international golf match which was between England and Scotland (the centenary of which in 2002 I was very privileged to have played in … and yes, 100 years on we beat England again-:); and, in 1921, the first international match between Great Britain and the United States of America, which we now know as The Walker Cup. In fact, it is Royal Liverpool Golf Club’s contribution to the amateur game that has set it apart from all other clubs in England. Although, at the end of the nineteenth century, it was the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews that took on the role of the governing body in golf as the game developed, it was at Hoylake that the rules of amateur status were laid down.
ROYAL LIVERPOOL TO HOST THE 2014 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
16 February 2010, Hoylake, England: The R&A has announced that Royal Liverpool Golf Club will host The Open Championship in 2014. It will be the 12th time the Hoylake links has hosted golf’s oldest Major.
The venue has witnessed a string of unique Open Champions: in 1907, Arnaud Massy became the only Frenchman to have won the title; Fred Daly became the first Irishman to do so, in 1947; and Argentine golfer Roberto De Vicenzo became the first South American to win a Major when he lifted the Claret Jug in 1967. When The Open returned to Hoylake in 2006 after a 39-year absence, Tiger Woods became the first back-to-back Open Champion since Tom Watson in 1983 in front of 230,000 people, a record attendance for the Championship in England.
Two of the three amateurs to have won The Open were Royal Liverpool members: Hoylake-born John Ball Jr, the first Englishman to win The Open, lifted the Claret Jug at Prestwick in 1890; and Harold Hilton, who, on his home course in 1897, won his second title at the first Open Championship to be staged in the north west of England. The only other amateur winner is Bobby Jones, who won his third Open at Hoylake in 1930: the second of four steps to his unprecedented and unmatched Grand Slam.
In 1885, Hoylake hosted the inaugural Amateur Championship – the first of 17 to date – and, in 1921, it staged the first international match between Great Britain and the USA, a contest which would later become the Walker Cup Match.
“We are delighted that The Open is returning to Royal Liverpool after a relatively short period of time,” said David Hill, The R&A’s Director of Championships. “In 2006, Hoylake showcased links golf at its best and players, spectators and officials were united in their praise for the course, and for the venue as a whole.
“We would like to thank the Club’s officials for their unfailing co-operation, which has enabled the Championship to come back to Royal Liverpool, a Club whose history is interwoven with both The Open and The R&A.”
Paul Cassidy, Captain of Royal Liverpool Golf Club added, “we are very proud of our Club’s rich heritage and the many memorable golfing moments staged at Hoylake since our founding in 1869 and are extremely thrilled to be again invited to host The Open Championship in 2014. We are thoroughly looking forward to working with both The R&A and Wirral Council in the planning, organisation and staging of another successful Major championship.”
With The Open Championship estimated to boost the local economy by £70m each time it is played in the north west of England, the news has also been welcomed by Councillor Steve Foulkes, Leader of Wirral Council.
“This is fantastic news for Wirral. We look forward to getting ready to welcome new visitors to the Peninsula as well as returning golf fans who enjoyed themselves so much with us four years ago,” said Councillor Foulkes.
“The return of one of the world’s biggest sporting events to Royal Liverpool Golf Club is not only great for Wirral, but the whole of the North West. We are absolutely committed to ensuring local residents, businesses and golf fans alike benefit from this fantastic opportunity once more.”
1907 – Arnaud Massy (FRA) 1956 – Peter Thomson (AUS)
1913 – J H Taylor (ENG) 1967 – Roberto De Vicenzo (ARG)
1924 – Walter Hagen (USA) 2006 – Tiger Woods (USA)
1930 – Bobby Jones (A) (USA)
Note to Editors
Based in St Andrews, The R&A is golf’s governing body and organiser of The Open Championship. The R&A is committed to working for golf and operates with the consent of 138 organisations from the amateur and professional game and on behalf of over thirty million golfers in 124 countries.