Royal Liverpool Golf Club, known affectionately as ‘Hoylake’ by locals and members after the town it is situated in, will host another eagerly anticipated Open Championship in 2023. The list of Open winners at Royal Liverpool is not long, due to it being off the rota from 1967 to 2006, but it is very impressive.
Winners of the Claret Jug here include the greatest golfers from every generation – Harold Hilton (amateur), JH Taylor, Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones’ (amateur) second leg of his 1930 Grand Slam, Peter Thomson, Roberto De Vincenzo, Tiger Woods, and Rory McIlroy.
Hoylake is better known for its contributions to amateur golf and is the only venue to have produced two Open champions that were amateurs. Local golf hero and member of Royal Liverpool, John Ball, was the first amateur and first Englishman to hoist the trophy when he won the 1890 Open Championship at Prestwick Golf Club, he also won eight Amateur Championships.
The unofficial first Amateur Championship was held here in 1885, the event was so successful they petitioned the R&A to make it an annual competition. They meant at Royal Liverpool, but the R&A did listen, and the first official Amateur Championship was held on the Old Course in St Andrews the following year.
The prototype of the Walker Cup also was initiated at Royal Liverpool, when after the Amateur Championship in 1921 they hosted a team of visitors from the United States against a team from Great Britain. The next year a formal competition was organized in the United States with the trophy donated by George Herbert Walker. In 2019, the US Squad defeated the GB&I team at Hoylake under Captain Nathaniel Crosby, who had played here as a young competitor in the 1983 Walker Cup.
The course has evolved from its humble beginnings, sharing the linksland with a popular racetrack and the Liverpool Hunt Club, into the pride of England Golf. The course has been altered by the greats of golf architecture over the years from Robert Chambers and George (brother of Old Tom) Morris, Harry Colt, and most recently Martin Ebert ahead of the 2023 Open Championship.
The course has been extending to a length of 7,350 yards, the par 5 16th has been stretched to 611 yards alone, and a completely new par 3, 15th hole (the old 13th). To the members’ approval, Ebert also replaced 14 bunkers and built a new 17th green.
The course is rather flat and therefore unprotected from the wind that blows in from the Dee Estuary. It is a bit funky with interior out-of-bounds caused by the practice ground being bordered by the first and 16th holes. During the Open, the 17th and 18th are used as the 1st and 2nd holes respectively to alleviate that issue and the practice ground is used to erect the viewing stands.
England’s Golf Coast with Royal Liverpool Golf Club and its fellow “Royals” and Open venues – Birkdale and Lytham St Annes make for a memorable England golf tour.
at Royal Liverpool in 2023
Play an range of Open rota courses as part of a Premier Golf Open Championship Package.
Witness 3 days (Fri – Sun) at the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool, and play Royal Birkdale GC (Monday), Formby GC (Tuesday), Hillside GC (Wednesday) and Royal Lytham & St Annes GC (Thursday).
Packages start from $7,970 per golfer, double occupancy room