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.