A course admired by many. Royal Liverpool has created moments that will live in our memories forever.
For the younger readers 2006 will be their earliest memories of the course which saw Tiger Woods prevail as outright winner. During the 2006 British Open, the course played havoc for some but was generous for others. Tiger Woods, Chris Di Marco, Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els all carded a 65 during the week which helped them all finish high up the leaderboard, more so for Woods.
But for the older readers, in fact the very old readers some may have fond memories of Bobby Jones winning the 1930 British Open which ultimately saw him win the grand slam that year.
The par 72 course was established in 1869 and has since hosted the British Open eleven times excluding this year. The Open took a short break from the course between 1967 and 2006 and has seen some dramatic changes since.
But with all the changes to the course over the years, there is one thing that has stayed with it and is key to its success. The wind.
There is one quote that springs to mind when it comes to Hoylake and its infamous prevailing winds. The legendary writer Bernard Darwin once said, “Hoylake, blown upon by mighty winds, breeder of mighty champions.” This quote couldn’t be more true. Those who win at Hoylake are true champions and is shows by the past winners such as; Tiger Woods, J.H.Taylor and Walter Hagen.
The wind can wreak havoc during the week of the Open for more reasons than one. Whenever the wind is mentioned, you can automatically hear someone give off a little sigh. A sigh of disappointment. A sigh of “I will actually have to try now.” There is the obvious challenge of shaping the ball but with the dry coastal winds comes burnt fairways and greens, meaning a lot of run on the ball and quick putts. This week will be no different.
Many thought the Open would never return to Hoylake but since 1967 major construction has taken place in order to host the facilities needed for modern-day golfing events. The crowds that the events attract require a large amount of room not only to view the holes but to walk between the holes and obviously the hospitality tents.