Nestling between two busy seaside resorts, the Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Course is one of the most unique courses in the rotation of the British Open. It is a links in every sense of the word, with sandy soil and the wind blowing in from the Irish Sea. Open to the elements, the trees on the course permanently lean sideways, with the wind often proving a formidable competitor in the homeward five holes of the course. Unusually, the course is set amongst a Victorian housing estate, and occupies a limited piece of land, with red-brick houses in plain view. Located nearby is the St. Annes train station, with the railway line running adjacent to the first nine holes of the course.
1926 was a significant year for the club, not only did it host its first Open, but King George V gave his approval to adding the word 'Royal' to the club's title just in time for the championship to start. The legendary American, Bobby Jones, won the 1926 Open, one of the most talented and successful amateur golfers of all time. Trailing a fellow American with only five holes to play, Jones played one of the toughest five-hole finishes in British golf to take his first title. He was to go on to win the Open twice more and also claim the amateur title. Despite their domination of the game, it wasn't until 1996 that another American took the Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in the shape of Tom Lehman, breaking the course record of 65 in the third round. He went on to describe his final round of 73 as "not pretty, but gritty". It was enough to keep him two shots ahead of the rest.
The course is well designed, with holes to test every level of player. It opens with a Par 3, the only major championship course to do so. The first four holes and last five are said to be amongst the trickiest in Britain, but some respite is offered in between with holes which are within everyone can hope to emulate Seve Ballesteros' five birdies and an eagle in this stretch on his way to winning the 1979 Open, this is a chance to put some lower scores on your card. Holes 16 to 18 have produced some of the most memorable moments in major championship history, 16 is the scene of Seve's famous 'car park' shot in 1979. Standing behind the 18th green, the grand Victorian clubhouse, with its oak-paneled dining room, offers a haven from the elements. It is a place to soak up the history of previous championships and admire the skills of the past and present golfing heroes.
Lytham St Annes
Tel: 01253 724206
Fax: 01253 780946
|Ticket Type||Ticket Tariff|
|April - September 2014 Mon-Fri & Sun||£180.00 per ticket|
|April - September 2014 Saturday||£270.00 per ticket|
Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.
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