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(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.
Used 24 times, no longer on the roster.
1860, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1872, 1875, 1878, 1881, 1884, 1887, 1890, 1893, 1898, 1903, 1908, 1914, 1925.

St Andrews, Fife, Scotland.
Used 27 times, now used every five years.
1873, 1876, 1879, 1882, 1885, 1888, 1891, 1895, 1900, 1905, 1910, 1921, 1927, 1933, 1939, 1946, 1955, 1957, 1960, 1964, 1970, 1978, 1984, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005.

Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland.
Used 6 times, no longer on the roster.
1874, 1877, 1880, 1883, 1886, 1889.

Muirfied, Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland.
Used 15 times, still on the roster.
1892, 1896, 1901, 1906, 1912, 1929, 1935, 1948, 1959, 1966, 1972, 1980, 1987, 1992, 2002.

Royal St George's (Sandwich): 13 times.
1894, 1899, 1904, 1911, 1922, 1928, 1934, 1938, 1949, 1981, 1985, 1993, 2003.

Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, Wirral, England.
Used 11 times, still on the roster.
1897, 1902, 1907, 1913, 1924, 1930, 1936, 1947, 1956, 1967, 2006.

Royal Cinque Ports, Deal, Kent, England.
Used twice, no longer on the roster.
1909, 1920.

Royal Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland.
Used 8 times, still on the roster.
1923, 1950, 1962, 1973, 1982, 1989, 1997, 2004.

Royal Lytham & St Annes, Lancashire, England
Used 10 times, still on the roster.
1926, 1952, 1958, 1963, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1988, 1996, 2001.

Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland.
Used 7 times, still on the roster.
1931, 1937, 1953, 1968, 1975, 1999, 2007.

Prince's, Sandwich, Kent, England.
Used once only. No longer on the roster.
1932.

Royal Portrush, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Used once only. No longer on the roster.
1951.

Royal Birkdale, Southport, Merseyside, England
Used 9 times. Still on the roster.
1954, 1961, 1965, 1971, 1976, 1983, 1991, 1998, 2008.

Turnberry, Ayrshire, Scotland
Used 4 times. Still on the roster.
1977, 1986, 1994, 2009

Confirmed forthcoming venues:

2010 - St Andrews
2011 - Royal St George’s
2012 - Royal Lytham & St Annes
2013 - Muirfield
2014 - Royal Liverpool (Hoylake)

Last updated: October 2009






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