A Repeat Of 2006? Royal Liverpool Firming Up Ahead Of 151st Open

The sun has been beating down on Hoylake for several weeks, which means we may see a repeat of the 2006 Open

Tiger Woods Hoylake 2006
Tiger Woods conquers a firm and fast Hoylake in 2006
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Get ready for some 2-irons, because Royal Liverpool, or Hoylake as it’s known, is starting to look a little crispy. It’s good news for those of us who like to see players drilling long irons, much like Tiger Woods did en route to his emotional victory in the north west 17 years ago.

A picture shared by the official Twitter account for The Open shows the historic links looking “sensational” as the grandstands continue to go up ahead of the 151st Open.

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The Wirral, just like most parts of Merseyside and much of the UK, has been baked in sunshine over the last few weeks, with little to no rain to speak of, sparking rumours of hosepipe bans.

And even though the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning as thunderstorms are set to hit the region this weekend, with golf’s oldest Major drawing near, there’s a good chance the course will remain quite firm and dry.

In 2006, Woods famously hit just one driver the entire week, and not once during his final three rounds. He finished on 18-under-par to win his third Claret Jug and 11th Major Championship.

The great man had a simple plan that week: to avoid the bunkers, particularly the nasty fairway ones, at all costs – and that meant putting the driver away and sticking to long irons. 

"I'm trying to take advantage of the fast fairways and roll the ball out there," Woods said on the eve of the tournament. "And the 2 iron enables me to do that."

Tiger Woods Hoylake 2006

Tiger Woods walks past another bunker without any troubles en route to victory at Royal Liverpool in 2006 

(Image credit: Getty Images )

Woods hit driver just the once – on Thursday at the par-5 16th, at which point he realised that he had a better chance of accomplishing his mission without it.

The former world number one put on a masterclass with his long irons – and it seems that we've all been talking about the 'Tiger stinger' ever since. 

At 7,383 yards, Royal Liverpool sounds like a bit of a beast. And whilst the championship tees are hidden way back in the tall stuff, should the course stay form and fast, it would be no surprise to see players adopting the Woods tactic this July.

Michael Weston
Contributing editor

Michael has been with Golf Monthly since 2008. As a multimedia journalist, he has also worked for The Football Association, where he created content to support the men's European Championships, The FA Cup, London 2012, and FA Women's Super League. As content editor at Foremost Golf, Michael worked closely with golf's biggest equipment manufacturers, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of this side of the industry. He's now a regular contributor, covering instruction, equipment and feature content. Michael has interviewed many of the game's biggest stars, including six world number ones, and has attended and reported on many Major Championships and Ryder Cups. He's a member of Formby Golf Club.