39 Things You Never Knew About Royal Liverpool And The Open

The Open returns to Hoylake next week and we have revisited some of the venue's top golfing moments in this section.

1. The Liverpool Golf Club was founded at Hoylake in 1869 on what was then the racecourse of the Liverpool Hunt Club. The racing heritage remains ? holes 1 and 18 are called Course and Stand.

2. The Royal Liverpool Golf Club is the second oldest seaside course in England, behind Royal North Devon.

3. The club?s first headquarters was in the Royal Hotel on the other side of the road to the 17th green of the current course. The hotel was owned and run by the father of John Ball, the club?s greatest player.

4. The first professional golf tournament in England was held at Hoylake in 1872. Young Tom Morris was the victor.

5. The club is responsible for laying down the laws of the amateur game and in 1878, aged just 16, John Ball almost fell foul of them after tying for fourth place in The Open Championship. Ball won £1 and, seven years later, this fact was brought up when he wanted to enter the first Amateur Championship. Ball had accepted prize money and therefore was technically a professional. The rules were, however, adjusted to allow Ball to play.

6. The first Amateur Championship in 1885 was won by club member Allan MacFie. The club has hosted the tournament on a subsequent 17 occasions.

7. In 1890, at Prestwick, John Ball became the first Englishman and the first amateur to win The Open.

8. Hoylake hosted its first Open in 1897. The title went to Harold Hilton, the only time a local member has ever won The Open.

9. Hilton won the Amateur Championship four times, and the US Amateur once in 1911 ? the same year he became the first editor of the new Golf Monthly magazine.

10. The discovery of a collection of Hilton?s medals in a drawer in the secretary?s office led to the club cultivating its wonderful collection of memorabilia.

11. Sandy Herd?s win in the 1902 Open at Hoylake marked the end for the Gutta ball. Playing with John Ball in a practice round, Herd was impressed with the performance of the new rubber-wound Haskell used by Ball. After the round he went to the pro?s shop and bought his entire stock of four balls. He went on to win by a shot from Harry Vardon.

12. In 1902 Hoylake staged the first match between England and Scotland, with members of the club representing both teams. Scotland ran out winners of what would become the Home Internationals.

13. Arnaud Massy of France was so delighted at becoming the first continental European to win The Open in 1907 that he named his daughter, who was born during the Championship, Hoylake.

14. JH Taylor survived terrible conditions to win the 1913 Open. Bernard Darwin described his third round as ?the most marvellous exhibition of dogged determination ever seen at Hoylake?.

15. The legend of Bobby Jones is entwined with that of Hoylake. In 1921 Jones struck the opening shot in the inaugural match between teams of amateur golfers from GB&I and America. The matches would later become the Walker Cup.

16. Walter Hagen?s wife caused a stir in 1924 when she ran onto the green to celebrate with her husband after he won Hoylake?s fifth Open. It was the first time a woman had been welcomed into the clubhouse.

17. In 1925 Hoylake hosted the inaugural English Amateur Championship.

18. Three weeks after winning the 1930 Amateur Championship at St Andrews, Bobby Jones won his third and final Open title at Hoylake.

19. After winning the Claret Jug in 1930, Jones was more interested in talking to Harold Hilton and John Ball about their exploits than celebrating his own.

20. In 1936 the Englishman Alf Padgham had to smash the window of the pro shop to retrieve his clubs before playing 36 holes on the final day.

21. Fred Daly became the first and, to date, only Irish winner of the Claret Jug when he pipped American amateur Frank Stranahan at the post in 1947.

22. Stranahan was centre of attention at the event when he arrived at his hotel complete with his weight-lifting equipment.

23. At Hoylake in 1956, Peter Thomson became only the fourth man in history to win The Open three times in a row.

24. The changes in the hole order that this year sees the 17th and 18th played as the 1st and 2nd in The Open were first mooted back in 1964.

25. The third-round scores of 67 by Roberto De Vicenzo and Gary Player remain the lowest at Hoylake during The Open.

26. Lightning hit the flagstick on the 5th hole during the second round of the 1967 Open, burning a star-shaped scar into the putting surface.

27. Less than a year before winning The Open in 1967, De Vicenzo played a televised match at Hoylake against Clive Clark and Tony Jacklin.

28. The 1967 Open can be held responsible for the start of the golf boom in Sweden ? John Cockin, a teaching pro in his homeland, made the headlines after qualifying to play all four rounds at Hoylake.

29. Michael Bonallack won the fourth of his five Amateur Championships at Hoylake in 1969.

30. In 1995 Hoylake staged the 100th Amateur Championship and Gordon Sherry was the champion.

31. In 2000 De Vicenzo returned to Hoylake to play an exhibition match with Sam Snead, Tony Jacklin and Sandy Lyle.

32. This year?s Open Championship at Hoylake is the first one to accept ladies entering the qualification process.

33. The 2006 course is considerably different to that of 1967 although it only measures 263 yards longer.

34. The club was granted its royal patronage in 1871 by the Duke of Connaught.

35. Paul Broadhurst was the last winner of a professional tournament held at Hoylake when he shot a 16-under-par total at the 1991 European Pro-Celebrity event.

36. The key to Hoylake?s return to the Open rota has been the acquisition of an additional 10-acre plot of land beside the 8th to house the television compound.

37. The Wirral Metropolitan Council has estimated that bringing the Open back to Hoylake will be worth more than £70 million to the local economy.

38. More than 200,000 spectators are expected at this year?s Open. This compares with just 29,880 in 1967.

39. Tiger Woods has reportedly booked the Hillbark Hotel for five nights at a cost of £140,000.

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