We Played The Toughest Three Holes At This Open Championship Venue…And It Wasn’t Pretty

Ahead of the 151st Open in July, Neil Tappin and Dan Parker head to Royal Liverpool Golf Club to play a match across three of its hardest holes

We Played The Toughest Three Holes At This Open Championship Venue…And It Wasn’t Pretty
(Image credit: Future)

We Played The Toughest Three Holes At This Open Championship Venue…And It Wasn’t Pretty 

Now the PGA Championship has been won by Brooks Kopeka, we've reached the run-in to the third men's major of the year, The Open Championship. Royal Liverpool Golf Club is preparing to host The Open for the 13th time in its history. Ahead of the 151st running of the championships starting on July 20th, we sent Neil Tappin and Dan Parker to Royal Liverpool to tackle three of its toughest holes in a strokeplay match. You can watch their (mixed) attempts to tackle the 3rd, 6th and 14th holes down below. 

WATCH: Neil Tappin and Dan Parker play a match on three of Royal Liverpool's toughest holes 

The Toughest Holes At Royal Liverpool

Royal Liverpool has seen the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Walter Hagen lift the Claret Jug, so it's safe to say this links course on The Wirral is one of the toughest tests of golf on the British Isles. We saved the closing stretch of 16, 17 and 18 for a separate challenge you'll be able to watch soon, so for this challenge, we focussed on three other holes that have been historically tough for members and Tour pros alike. 

Starting with the 3rd hole - which actually plays as the 1st hole for the members - we were faced with a strong left to right dogleg par 4 that requires two precise shots to find the putting surface. Lurking on the right side of both the tee shot and the approach shot is internal out of bounds and down the left is the clubhouse, practice putting green. With a dog leg as severe as this, you won't see any of the Tour players take the driver on this hole, and a long iron or hybrid should suffice to get in play. 

The clubhouse at Royal Liverpool

The clubhouse runs down the left side of the 3rd hole. 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Next up is the 6th hole which, off the championship tees, plays 199 yards often through a crosswind. At the 2006 Open - won by Tiger Woods - this relatively inconspicuous par three saw a staggering nine double bogeys carded across the four days. Covered with pot bunkers on either side of the green, it's an intimidating approach shot with a natural slope sending anything too long over the back of the green. 

Finally, the 14th hole - which is arguably the best hole at Royal Liverpool - is a long par 4 dog leg to the left that is littered with bunkers and long rough to protect from anyone trying to cut the corner. Tiger Woods famously holed out for an eagle on this hole in 2006 from just over 200 yards. At the Spring Meeting of Royal Liverpool members in 2023, this hole played a whopping 1.25 strokes over par on average, basically meaning it plays as a par five. Keep a close eye out for how the pros tackle these three holes when the Open Championship arrives to town on July 20th.  

Dan Parker
Staff Writer

Dan has been with Golf Monthly team since 2021. He graduated with a Masters degree in International Journalism from the University of Sussex and looks after equipment reviews and buyer's guides, specializing in golf shoe, golf bag and golf cart reviews. Dan has now tested and reviewed over 30 pairs of golf shoes and is an expert in the field. A left-handed golfer, his handicap index is currently 6.5 and he plays at Fulford Heath Golf Club in the West Midlands. 

Dan is currently playing: 

Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 

Fairway: TaylorMade Stealth 2 15°, Ping G425 Max 21°

Hybrid: Ping G425 

Irons: Cobra King Tec Utility, Ping i230 (5-PW) 

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged Pro

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour X

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x