Open Golf Championship

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Open Championship 2017 Guide

Known all over the world as simply ‘The Open’, or the ‘British Open’, the Open Golf Championship is one of the oldest professional golf tournaments still part of regular competition. The event is the oldest of the majors and it’s also the only one of the four majors that takes place outside of the United States. This year’s event, the 146th Open, will take place from 16-23 of July 2017 at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England. The Open is one of the most prestigious and exciting sporting events, providing a great opportunities for Europeans to watch the very best golfers the world has to offer.

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Getting There

Royal Birkdale Golf Club is located in the town of Southport, approximately 15 miles north of Liverpool, and 15 miles northwest of Greater Manchester. The drive from the ferry port at Dover takes approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes, with the motorway system accommodating almost all of the journey. Similarly, the route from Newhaven takes just over 5 hours. Alternatively, if you’re travelling on the Amsterdam-Newcastle route, Royal Birkdale can be reached in just over 3 hours by travelling down the M1, and across the M62.

How to get to Royal Birkdale

Royal Birkdale itself is situated just off the A565, which runs directly from the outskirts of Liverpool. The M58 is the closest motorway, with the M6 being the major route into the area. There is no parking at the course itself for those visiting at the time of The Open, but extensive park and ride facilities are available which can be booked in advance on The Open’s official website.

What to see near the Royal Birkdale

Royal Birkdale’s location on the North West coast makes it ideally located nearby to numerous sights and attractions. Formby Beach is just minutes away, the beach is operated by The National Trust and is one of England’s most dramatic and best-loved beaches. Alternatively, there are several cities nearby for those who are looking for a more metropolitan escape. Liverpool is famed for its musical heritage and is one of the country’s top cultural attractions. The city features numerous museums, galleries, maritime buildings and more. Manchester is similarly packed with bars, restaurants, other entertainment venues including the world-famous Manchester United stadium, Old Trafford. The seaside resort of Blackpool is also just a short drive north.

The Open Championship

The very first Open was held in 1860, on 17 October at the Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland. It has been held at a total of 14 different locations since. All of them, including this year’s host, are ‘links’ courses, meaning they’re coastal courses and feature sand dunes and open parkland. This poses a different challenge to golfers and makes for a thrilling competition. Currently, the Open is a 72-hole contest and runs over 4 days with 156 golfers, although this format has changed considerably since 1860. Previous winners have included golfing legends Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, the former having won The Open at Royal Birkdale in 1961. The defending champion at this year’s Open is Swede Henrik Stenson, who also holds the record for the lowest final score at the event in relation to par at -20. He is among the favourites again this year, but America’s Dustin Johnson and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy are the two currently tipped for success.

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