(British) Open Championship venues
The oldest of what are today known as the Major Championships, 'The Open' was first played on October 17, 1860 at Prestwick, then a 12 hole layout, meaning that three rounds were played in the day to make up 36 holes. Eight players entered and Willie Park Sr. of Musselburgh won with a total of 174.
Of the 138 playings of the Championship up to 2009, it has been held 91 times in Scotland, 46 times in England and once in Northern Ireland.
14 different courses have played host to the Championship, seven in Scotland, six in England and one in Northern Ireland. Of the 14 courses, nine are still on the modern roster, with the Championship visiting each course roughly once every ten years, except for St Andrews, which now hosts it every fifth year.
Among the 14 courses, only three are in the south of the British Isles, and only one of those - Royal St George's - is still on the Championship roster.
The Championship has always been played on a 'links', or seaside style of course: this had been the tradition from 1860 until 1921, but was enshrined in the Championship rules in 1922 when the Committee declared that "The Open shall henceforth be played only on links courses, to provide a true test for the skilled players." (Links courses have by nature few, if any trees, and are exposed to the elements - particularly the wind - more than inland courses, making them a difficult, but also very traditional, test of golf.)
The 14 Open Championship venues, in order of their first hosting of the Championship, are:
Prestwick, Ayrshire, Scotland.
St Andrews, Fife, Scotland.
Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland.
Muirfied, Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland.
Royal St George's (Sandwich): 13 times.
Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, Wirral, England.
Royal Cinque Ports, Deal, Kent, England.
Royal Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland.
Royal Lytham & St Annes, Lancashire, England
Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland.
Prince's, Sandwich, Kent, England.
Royal Portrush, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Royal Birkdale, Southport, Merseyside, England
Turnberry, Ayrshire, Scotland
Confirmed forthcoming venues:
2010 - St Andrews
Last updated: October 2009