Royal Liverpool: No 2 on our Open 2020 Golf Tour
Royal Liverpool links at Hoylake can be beautiful, uplifting, challenging, and even daunting when the wind really blows and the summer rough is deep. The course was created to be a demanding test of golf and remains so, and lies at the very heart of the history and development of the game in Great Britain.
The course is the oldest of all the English seaside Clubs with the exception of Westward Ho! in Devon, which was established just a few years earlier. Despite its at first glance flat and benign appearance, Hoylake makes the trickiest demands of a player’s shot selection, distance control and accuracy.
The Club celebrated its 150th birthday in 2019, a year which also saw the Walker Cup return to Hoylake, having made its last appearance in 1983. The Match was a wonderful addition to the celebrations of Royal Liverpool’s proud history and important role in the development of the amateur game.
Here are interesting facts about Royal Liverpool
1. Founded in 1869 the Liverpool Golf Club became only the second English course owning golf club to be granted the Royal title when Queen Victoria bestowed the honour in 1871.
2. Royal Liverpool is the second oldest seaside links course in England and was built on the land of the Liverpool Hunt Club racecourse with golf and racing running concurrently for the first seven years of its life. The names of the 1st and 18th holes for members, “Course” and “Stand”, refer to this original use.
3. As well as hosting the Open Championship the Club is also synonymous with the amateur game. Royal Liverpool hosted the first recognised Amateur Championship in 1895 (won by A.F. Mackie), was home course to two of the game’s most storied amateur players (see Harold Hilton and John Ball below) and witnessed the greatest amateur of all, Bobby Jones, win the Open in 1930 to complete the second leg of his historic Grand Slam.
4. A new era for golf dawned when The Open returned to Hoylake for the second time in 1902 as Scot Sandy Herd took the title and became the first champion to do so using the new rubber cored Haskell golf ball signalling the end of the traditional Gutta Percha ball.
5, The first of Royal Liverpool’s famous amateur sons, John Ball, is perhaps England’s greatest ever amateur player. He became the first amateur and Englishman to win The Open when he triumphed at Prestwick in 1890 and his 8 Amateur Championships (three of which came at Hoylake in 1890, 1894 and 1910) is a record likely never to be beaten.
6. Harold Hilton followed Ball into The Open winner’s circle as the second amateur winner with victory at Muirfield in 1892 He also became the first champion to lift the Claret Jug over the links of Royal Liverpool when the Club hosted its first Open Championship in 1897.
7. In keeping with the international theme Royal Liverpool was the venue for the first non-British winner of The Open with Frenchman Arnaud Massey beating the famed J.H. Taylor by two shots in 1907. Thanks to Jean Van de Velde’s now infamous encounter with the Barry Burn at Carnoustie in 1999, Massey remains the only Frenchman to lift the Claret Jug.
8. Massey set a trend for overseas victors that places Royal Liverpool at the top of the tree of foreign winners at Open Championship venues. Players from seven nations have won at Hoylake with golfers from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, France, USA, Australia and Argentina all successful over the links.
Find our more about Royal Liverpool Golf Club here: https://www.royal-liverpool-golf.com
Is Royal Liverpool on your bucket list?
Play Royal Liverpool, along with five other Championship Courses, with us on our PGA Guided Golf Tour to The Open 2020. Find out more here.