Take a look at the 14 Open Championship venues, 10 of which are still part of the rotation
The 14 Open Championship Venues
There are nine others across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with the tournament returning to Royal St George’s in 2020.
There are four ‘forgotten’ Open venues which no longer host the tournament, they include Prestwick which held the first ever championship.
Here we take a look at all 14 of the current and former Open Championship venues.
The 14 Open Championship Venues:
Current venues –
Arguably the most famous golf course in the world, St Andrews with its rich history, has been an Open Championship venue since 1873.
It is such an integral part of the Open that the Old Course hosts the tournament every five years.
In 2015, Zach Johnson won a playoff against Marc Leishman, and Louis Oosthuizen.
In 2021, the Old Course will host the tournament’s 150th edition.
Muirfield has been part of the Open Championship rotation since 1892 and has had some of the finest golfers to play the game win on its grass.
Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo, Ernie Els, and most recently, Phil Mickelson have all won the Claret Jug there.
Royal St George’s
2011 was the last time the Open descended upon Royal St Georges, with Darren Clarke emerging as the eventual winner.
It is returning in 2020.
After nearly a 40 year hiatus, the Open returned to Royal Liverpool in 2006 with Tiger Woods winning for the second consecutive year.
Rory McIlroy won the most recent edition in 2014 by two strokes over Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler.
Royal Troon has hosted the Championship nine times, the most recent of which was 2016 where Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson duelled for the title.
Troon has one of the shortest and greatest holes of all the Open venues in the form of the 123 yard par-3 known as the ‘Postage Stamp’.
Royal Lytham and St Annes
Royal Lytham and St Annes is one of the finest golf courses in the world and requires immense accuracy on every shot.
Home to well over 200 bunkers, it is one of the most difficult courses on the Open rota.
Ernie Els was the most recent champion in 2012 with a score of -7.
Lytham has hosted two Ryder Cups, in 1961 and 1977.
Carnoustie is remembered for a moment of insanity and hilarity at the expense of Jean Van De Velde where he made a mess of the final hole and eventually lost in a playoff.
It is an incredibly tough golf course, often called ‘Carnasty’ and in 1999 the score to get into the playoff was six over.
In 2018 Francesco Molinari secured the trophy with a score of eight-under.
For the first time since 1951, the Open Championship will return to Royal Portrush in 2019.
Situated in Northern Ireland, it is the only course outside of Scotland and England that has hosted the Open.
Rory McIlroy will be a favourite to win there as he once shot 61 at the age of 16.
Since 1954, Royal Birkdale has hosted the Open 10 times, the most recent being 2017.
Jordan Spieth emerged as the victor in controversial but sublime fashion over Matt Kuchar.
It has also hosted two Ryder Cups, the most famous of which was in 1969 when Jack Nicklaus generously gave Tony Jacklin a short putt to halve the whole event.
One of the most famous sights in golf on these shores has to be the Turnberry lighthouse which stands over the course and coastline.
And when the course hosts the Open, exciting golf is usually the result.
The 1977 Duel in the Sun between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus is the most famous, and 2009 nearly produced the oldest winner of a major in the form of Watson at the age of 59.
The course underwent changes in 2016 after some financial input from owner Donald Trump. It ranks 1st in our UK and Ireland Top 100 Courses list.
The purse has increased $250,000 on last year
Benjamin Griffiths goes to Rory McIlroy's old school…
Former venues –
Now we should look at the four Open venues that are no longer part of the rotation.
Prestwick is one of the oldest golf clubs in the world, and from 1860 until 1925 it was one of the main courses on the Open rotation.
In fact, it hosted the first ever Open, the first 12 Opens and 24 in total. It last staged the tournament in 1925.
It would be impossible to host the Open there again due to its lack of length and a lack of space for the huge crowds and infrastructure needed.
Musselburgh Links is officially the oldest golf course in the world as certified in the Guinness World Records.
It hosted six Opens from 1874 to 1889.
Royal Cinque Ports
Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club, on the same coastline as Royal St George’s and Prince’s, was an Open venue in 1909 and 1920, but two later tournaments were moved due to high tides that engulfed the course.
As a result, it fell off the rotation and only acts as a qualifying course nowadays.
It still hosts elite events, including the Senior Open and Amateur Championship in recent years.
The final course to have held the Open Championship is Prince’s Golf Club in Sandwich, England.
Prince’s hosted the Championship only once, in 1932, and has never returned.
It did, however, host Final Qualifying for this year’s Open.