The R&A has announced four new venues for Regional Qualifying ahead of The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool.
Ferndown, Hesketh, Kilmarnock (Barassie) and North Hants will all host Regional Qualifying events on Monday 26 June in 2023, with places available from each into Final Qualifying.
They join Alwoodley, Caldy, County Louth, Goswick, Kedleston Park, Minchinhampton, Moor Park, Northamptonshire County and Rochester & Cobham Park as the 13 venues across Great Britain and Ireland for Regional Qualifying next June.
Ferndown (pictured above) has a rich history of Championship golf and in 1989, played proud host to what is now known as the AIG Women’s Open. The Dorset club is also connected to Royal Liverpool, as the Old Course at Ferndown was designed by Harold Hilton, the Hoylake member who twice became Open Champion as an amateur in the 1890s.
Hesketh has hosted Final Qualifying for The Open five times and is an historic venue in Southport, less than 30 miles from Royal Liverpool. In 2008, the club saw a number of future stars partake in The R&A Junior Open around the course, including a fresh-faced Jordan Spieth. Spieth would return to Lancashire just nine years later to lift the Claret Jug at neighbouring Royal Birkdale.
Kilmarnock (Barassie) in Ayrshire has hosted Final Qualifying for The Open seven times and counts three-time Open Champion Sir Henry Cotton as one of its many winners around the links. Louise Duncan also won the Women’s Amateur Championship at the Barassie course in 2021, ahead of her star turn at the AIG Women’s Open later that summer.
North Hants was originally designed by five-time Open Champion James Braid and shares a bit of history with Royal Liverpool, with both clubs having had architectural changes implemented by Harry Colt in the early 20th century and Donald Steel at the turn of the millennium. The Hampshire club is also well known as Justin Rose’s home course in his youth, including when he famously contended for The Open as a 17-year-old amateur at Royal Birkdale in 1998.
Players successfully advancing from Regional Qualifying on Monday 26 June will join eligible golfers at Final Qualifying for The Open, to be played on Tuesday 4 July 2023 at Burnham & Berrow, Dundonald Links, Royal Cinque Ports and West Lancashire.
Entries will open for Qualifying in early 2023. Make sure to check back on TheOpen.com for regular updates on Regional Qualifying.