Royal Birkdale Golf Club Hole By Hole Guide: Hole 1

A guide to the opening hole at Royal Birkdale ahead of the 146th Open Championship

Royal Birkdale Golf Club Hole By Hole Guide: Hole 1
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A guide to the first hole at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England ahead of the 146th Open Championship

Royal Birkdale Golf Club Hole By Hole Guide: Hole 1

Hole 1 - Par 4 - 448 yards

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The 146th Open Championship takes place at Royal Birkdale this month, here is a guide to the opening hole.

The first at Birkdale presents a demanding shot to the players, with a bunker left guarding a tight fairway surrounded by thick rough and shrubbery.

Related: Royal Birkdale Golf Club Course Review

The dogleg-left par 4 is a long one for amateurs at almost 450 yards and will play long for the pros when in to wind.

Royal Birkdale Golf Club Hole By Hole Guide: Hole 1

Looking back down the first hole from behind the green. (Photo by David Cannon/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

However when not down wind, the likes of Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy will easily be able to make the carry over the corner to leave them a mere flick onto the green.

The approach to the large, flat green is relatively simple, however anything landing short-right and short-left will find sand.

The key is to carry your ball over the bunkers short or run one up straight to miss them.

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x