Where to watch: The Open's seven best spectator vantage points
Player after player has labelled Royal Birkdale one of the best and fairest courses on The Open rota.
It's also a brilliant spectators course and, with good planning, you see the most dramatic action unfold from a series of brilliant vantage points. So, put on a pair of good shoes, dust off the binoculars and enjoy watching the world's best golfers up close and personal.
Perch on an elevated spot halfway up the 17th
Be prepared to hike uphill but there's a fantastic elevated position at the midway point of the fairway on the penultimate hole (on the left side as you look towards the green).
It's an absolutely cracking view, enabling you to see both the approach shots and putts to the 16th, as well as the tee-shot and second shot into the monster 567-yard par-three 17th.
The 17th could be a real key hole, reachable in two - unless the wind blows - a second shot will need to flirt with three bunkers to reach a heavily contoured green.
It was here Padraig Harrington slammed his 5-wood to three feet to clinch the Claret Jug in 2008; it's a great spot.
Grandstand on the 7th hole
Two for one deals are always the best, so head to the grandstand on the 7th.
You'll get to see the players tackling the brutish 6th, a 499-yard challenge where a par four almost seems like picking up a shot - it's stroke index one for members, and has been the hardest hole in the last two championships here too.
After watching them struggle you can turn back to the par-three 7th. It's got a devilish saucer shaped green and is protected by sand on all sides. Plenty will come a cropper here.
Grandstand midway up the 5th hole
Find a spot on one of the 'standing stands' - a new addition since The Open last visited Royal Birkdale.
This is a classic risk and reward hole and from this magnificent view on the left-hand side of the fairway, you'll see the drive, the second shot and the putt - from most players.
The more adventurous pros may cut out the dogleg corner altogether and let rip with the driver, chancing they'll avoid deep rough and a small pond. Whatever the result, it's some spectacle.
Grandstand on the 12th
This is a superb par three and arguably the most memorable hole at Royal Birkdale, real picture-postcard stuff.
Plenty are going to miss the 32-yard long target, especially if the prevailing right-to-left cross wind whips up. This would be a great place to spend an hour or so.
Grandstand on the 15th
The closing four holes at Royal Birkdale are among the most exciting on The Open rota - and the 15th is an absolute classic.
In 2008 there were 92 birdies here and one eagle. There were also 85 bogeys and 20 double bogeys. Three scored even worse.
Plenty of cards will be ruined here and plenty of challenges ignited too, and the grandstand behind the green is a top place to watch it all unfold. Sit back and enjoy.
Spend an hour on the practice ground
The practice ground will be buzzing from first light as players fine-tune their preparations. There's something hypnotic about watching the best in the world work on their swing and drill shot after shot into the distance with metronomic reliability.
When they don't get one quite right, your heart soars. Perhaps you can make it after all.
Mid-way down the 18th
Okay, so it's a bit predictable, but no trip to The Open is complete with spending an hour or so, watching players come down the stretch in front of the iconic yellow scoreboards.
There's a good spot halfway up the fairway, about 100 yards back from the spectator crossing towards the tee, where you can see shots into the green and catch a long-range view of the putts.