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Open Venues


The 14 courses to have hosted golf's original Championship

The 1st and 18th holes at St Andrews

The 150th Open at St Andrews will be a celebration of golf’s remarkable journey since the Championship was first played in 1860.

But how much do you know about the different courses that have played host to The Open through the decades?

Test your knowledge with our guide to the 14 Open venues, ordered by the number of times they have staged the Championship.


St Andrews

Location: Fife, Scotland

Number of Opens hosted: 29 (1873, 1876, 1879, 1882, 1885, 1888, 1891, 1895, 1900, 1905, 1910, 1921, 1927, 1933, 1939, 1946, 1955, 1957, 1960, 1964, 1970, 1978, 1984, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015)

Champion Golfers at St Andrews: Tom Kidd, Bob Martin (2), Jamie Anderson, Bob Ferguson, Jack Burns, Hugh Kirkaldy, J.H. Taylor (2), James Braid (2), Jock Hutchison, Bobby Jones (a), Denny Shute, Dick Burton, Sam Snead, Peter Thomson, Bobby Locke, Kel Nagle, Tony Lema, Jack Nicklaus (2), Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, John Daly, Tiger Woods (2), Louis Oosthuizen, Zach Johnson.

Course record in The Open: 63 – Paul Broadhurst (1990), Rory McIlroy (2010)

Best aggregate score in a 72-hole Open: 269 – Tiger Woods (2000)

Quite simply the Home of Golf, St Andrews has hosted more Opens than any other venue.

Golf had been played over the iconic links for hundreds of years prior to it first staging The Open in 1873 – at a time when Old Tom Morris was the keeper of the greens.

Its most notable features include a host of fiendish bunkers, seven giant double greens and the Swilcan Burn that crosses the 1st and 18th holes, while the 17th – the infamous Road Hole – provides one of the toughest challenges in the sport.

Many of The Open’s most iconic moments have occurred at St Andrews, including Jack Nicklaus’ nail-biting victory over Doug Sanders in 1970, Seve Ballesteros’ winning putt in 1984 and Costantino Rocca’s miraculous putt from the Valley of Sin to force a play-off in 1995.

All of the game’s greats have walked the fairways of the Old Course, a fitting location for the 150th staging of the Championship in July 2022.



The first tee at Prestwick

Location: South Ayrshire, Scotland

Number of Opens hosted: 24 (1860, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1872, 1875, 1878, 1881, 1884, 1887, 1890, 1893, 1898, 1903, 1908, 1914, 1925)

Champion Golfers at Prestwick: Willie Park Snr (4), Old Tom Morris (4), Andrew Strath, Young Tom Morris (4), Jamie Anderson, Bob Ferguson, Jack Simpson, Willie Park Jnr, John Ball Jnr (a), Willie Auchterlonie, Harry Vardon (3), James Braid, Jim Barnes.

Course record in The Open (over 18 holes): 68 – Ernest Gray (1908)

Best aggregate score in a 72-hole Open: 291 – James Braid (1908)

The site for the first 12 Open Championships, Prestwick still sits second in the list of most Opens hosted despite the fact it has not welcomed the event for almost 100 years.

Originally a 12-hole course, Prestwick retained a uniquely challenging layout, featuring a host of blind shots and unusual angles, after it was extended to 18 holes under the stewardship of Old Tom Morris.

Old Tom and Young Tom each claimed four Open victories at the venue, a feat matched by Willie Park Snr, the very first winner of the Championship.

The course remains a fantastic test to this day, but overcrowding had become an issue by the time Prestwick staged its last Open in 1925 and it was clear The Open had outgrown its original birthplace.



The 18th hole at Muirfield in 1992

Location: Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland

Number of Opens hosted: 16 (1892, 1896, 1901, 1906, 1912, 1929, 1935, 1948, 1959, 1966, 1972, 1980, 1987, 1992, 2002, 2013)

Champion Golfers at Muirfield: Harold Hilton (a), Harry Vardon, James Braid (2), Ted Ray, Walter Hagen, Alf Perry, Henry Cotton, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Sir Nick Faldo (2), Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson.

Course record in The Open: 63 – Isao Aoki (1980)

Best aggregate score in a 72-hole Open: 271 – Tom Watson (1980)

Widely regarded as a firm but fair test, Muirfield has a rich history of delivering exceptional Champion Golfers, with many of golf’s greatest names having lifted the Claret Jug at the venue. In fact, the last seven men to have won The Open at Muirfield boast an incredible 57 major titles between them.

Since its maiden Open in 1892, when the Championship was played over 72 holes for the first time, Muirfield has been utilised as a host in every decade, a testament to its enduring status as one of the finest links courses around.

The home of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers since 1891 and another Old Tom Morris design, Muirfield underwent subtle changes ahead of its most recent Open in 2013, with updates made to 15 holes.

Yet the essential characteristics of the course have been retained and its demanding finishing stretch, which includes the iconic par-5 17th, is a particular highlight.

Having hosted 16 Opens to date, Muirfield will stage the AIG Women’s Open for the first time in 2022.


Royal St George's

The sixth hole at Royal St George's

Location: Sandwich, Kent, England 

Number of Opens hosted: 15 (1894, 1899, 1904, 1911, 1922, 1928, 1934, 1938, 1949, 1981, 1985, 1993, 2003, 2011, 2021)

Champion Golfers at Royal St George’s: J.H. Taylor, Harry Vardon (2), Jack White, Walter Hagen (2), Henry Cotton, Reg Whitcombe, Bobby Locke, Bill Rogers, Sandy Lyle, Greg Norman, Ben Curtis, Darren Clarke, Collin Morikawa.

Course record in The Open: 63 – Nick Faldo and Payne Stewart (both 1993)

Best aggregate score in a 72-hole Open: 265 – Collin Morikawa (2021)

The venue for the most recent Open, Royal St George’s made history in 1894 as the first club outside of Scotland to stage the Championship.

A near neighbour of two other courses to have hosted The Open in Royal Cinque Ports and Prince’s, the Sandwich links offers a fascinating challenge featuring several blind shots.

Its most iconic hole is surely the par-3 sixth, where the green sits beside a towering dune known as the Maiden that gives the hole its name.

Other highlights include the huge Himalaya bunker on the fourth and the difficult par-5 14th, which has out of bounds to the right for the full length of the hole.

Ben Curtis famously won at Royal St George’s as the world number 396 in 2003, in one of the great golfing upsets, while Collin Morikawa’s stunning ball-striking saw him claim the Claret Jug last July.


Royal Liverpool

Royal Liverpool Golf Club

Location: Wirral, England

Number of Opens hosted: 12 (1897, 1902, 1907, 1913, 1924, 1930, 1936, 1947, 1956, 1967, 2006, 2014, 2023)

Champion Golfers at Royal Liverpool: Harold Hilton (a), Sandy Herd, Arnaud Massy, J.H. Taylor, Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones (a), Alf Padgham, Fred Daly, Peter Thomson, Roberto De Vicenzo, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Brian Harman.

Course record in The Open: 63 – Jon Rahm (2023)

Best aggregate score in a 72-hole Open: 270 – Tiger Woods (2006)

The inaugural host for The Amateur Championship in 1885, Royal Liverpool was the home club of the first two non-professional players to win The Open, John Ball Jnr and Harold Hilton – with the latter claiming the Claret Jug for the second time at Hoylake in 1897.

Bobby Jones, the only other amateur to win The Open, also triumphed at Royal Liverpool in 1930 and became an honorary member of the club.

Royal Liverpool is the only course to have hosted at least 10 Opens without a player earning multiple victories at the venue, having delivered 12 different Champion Golfers from as many stagings.

Its most scenic holes come in a four-hole stretch running along the shore, starting with the ninth and ending at the demanding 12th – arguably the course’s finest test.

A regular host from 1897 to 1967, Royal Liverpool went 39 years without holding The Open before improvements to infrastructure saw it called upon again for The 135th Open in 2006, won by Tiger Woods.

It played host to Rory McIlroy’s success in 2014 and then, most recently, Brian Harman's six-stroke victory at The 151st Open in 2023.


Royal Lytham & St Annes

Location: Lancashire, England 

Number of Opens hosted: 11 (1926, 1952, 1958, 1963, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1988, 1996, 2001, 2012)

Champion Golfers at Royal Lytham & St Annes: Bobby Jones (a), Bobby Locke, Peter Thomson, Bob Charles, Tony Jacklin, Gary Player, Seve Ballesteros (2), Tom Lehman, David Duval, Ernie Els.

Course record in The Open: 64 – Tom Lehman (1996), Adam Scott and Brandt Snedeker (both 2012)

Best aggregate score in a 72-hole Open: 271 – Tom Lehman (1996)

Another spectacular Open venue on England’s north-west coast, Royal Lytham & St Annes has hosted 10 Opens since World War II, a tally bettered only by St Andrews.

As is the case at St Andrews, staying out of the bunkers is certainly key at Lytham, where 174 traps lie in wait for errant shots. A nearby railway line also comes into play on several holes, most notably the fiendishly difficult par-4 third.

The course played host to two of Seve Ballesteros’ three Open triumphs, in 1979 and 1988, with the Spaniard famously birdieing the 16th en route to his first win after driving into a temporary car park.

The only Open venue to begin with a par 3, Lytham’s first Open was won by the great amateur Bobby Jones in 1926. A plaque can be found on the 17th hole to commemorate his famous second shot there on his way to victory.


Royal Birkdale

The final hole at Royal Birkdale during The 146th Open

Location: Southport, England

Number of Opens hosted: 10 (1954, 1961, 1965, 1971, 1976, 1983, 1991, 1998, 2008, 2017)

Champion Golfers at Royal Birkdale: Peter Thomson (2), Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson, Ian Baker-Finch, Mark O’Meara, Padraig Harrington, Jordan Spieth.

Course record in The Open: 62 – Branden Grace (2017)

Best aggregate score in a 72-hole Open: 268 – Jordan Spieth (2017)

Royal Birkdale is a relatively recent addition to the list of Open venues, having welcomed the Championship for the first time in 1954. The Open has since returned to Southport on a regular basis, most recently doing so in 2017 when Jordan Spieth was victorious in dramatic circumstances.

The 146th Open also saw South Africa’s Branden Grace make history with the first round of 62 in a major, achieved on day three of the Championship.

Grace’s stunning scoring was a far cry from the previous Open at Birkdale in 2008, when Padraig Harrington retained the Claret Jug with a three-over aggregate following a week of strong winds.

Established in 1889, the course was extensively redesigned to create the current layout in 1922 by five-time Champion Golfer J.H. Taylor and Frederick G Hawtree.

Along with nearby Royal Lytham & St Annes, it is one of only two venues to have hosted both The Open and the Ryder Cup.


Royal Troon

The Postage Stamp, Royal Troon's eighth hole

Location: South Ayrshire, Scotland 

Number of Opens hosted: 9 (1923, 1950, 1962, 1973, 1982, 1989, 1997, 2004, 2016)

Champion Golfers at Royal Troon: Arthur Havers, Bobby Locke, Arnold Palmer, Tom Weiskopf, Tom Watson, Mark Calcavecchia, Justin Leonard, Todd Hamilton, Henrik Stenson.

Course record in The Open: 63 – Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson (2016)

Best aggregate score in a 72-hole Open: 264 – Henrik Stenson (2016)

Royal Troon is another venue to have benefited from a redesign from an Open great. James Braid – five times a Champion Golfer – made updates to the course prior to its first Open in 1923.

When it most recently hosted the Championship in 2016, Troon played host to a stunning duel between Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson that culminated in the latter recording the lowest 72-hole total in Open history.

A classic links layout sees the first half-dozen holes played along Scotland’s west coast, while Troon’s signature hole is undoubtedly the short eighth. Known as the Postage Stamp, the hole is the shortest at The Open but nevertheless offers a stern test, with devilish bunkers surrounding a slim putting surface.

Birdie opportunities can regularly be found on the front nine in calmer conditions, but the inward half represents the most daunting of challenges regardless of wind speed.

The venue has a strong history of American Champion Golfers, with six consecutive winners at Troon coming from the United States prior to Stenson’s success in The 145th Open.



The Barry Burn guarding the 18th green at Carnoustie

Location: Angus, Scotland 

Number of Opens hosted: 8 (1931, 1937, 1953, 1968, 1975, 1999, 2007, 2018)

Champion Golfers at Carnoustie: Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Paul Lawrie, Padraig Harrington, Francesco Molinari.

Course record in The Open: 64 – Richard Green, Steve Stricker (both 2007) and Justin Rose (2018)

Best aggregate score in a 72-hole Open: 276 – Francesco Molinari (2018)

The host course for the 2021 AIG Women’s Open is known as golf’s greatest test – and with good reason.

The only modern-day Open venue at which no Champion Golfer has finished double figures under par, Carnoustie is best known for a fearsome closing stretch that has delivered drama in abundance through the years.

Jean van de Velde is undoubtedly the most famous victim of the Barry Burn that snakes across Carnoustie’s final two holes, the Frenchman having made a costly final-round triple-bogey on 18 in 1999 when he was three clear.

Yet both the burn and Carnoustie’s various other hazards have made life tough for countless golfers and it is perhaps telling that 16 Sunday pars – and just two birdies - were enough for Francesco Molinari to move through the field and claim glory when The Open last visited Angus in 2018.

Carnoustie’s previous three Opens had all finished with play-offs, won by Tom Watson, Paul Lawrie and Padraig Harrington respectively. Ben Hogan is another former Champion at Carnoustie, winning on his only appearance in The Open in 1953.



The Old Course at Musselburgh Links

Location: East Lothian, Scotland

Number of Opens hosted: 6 (1874, 1877, 1880, 1883, 1886, 1889)

Champion Golfers at Musselburgh: Mungo Park, Jamie Anderson, Bob Ferguson, Willie Fernie, David Brown, Willie Park Jnr.

Course record in The Open: 75 – Mungo Park (1874) and Willie Fernie (1883)

Best aggregate score in a 36-hole Open: 155 – Willie Park Jnr (1889)

Musselburgh welcomed six Open Championships in the 19th Century, when it was the home of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.

After Prestwick had staged the first 12 Opens, Musselburgh and St Andrews each became part of a three-year rotation with the original host throughout the 1870s and 1880s.

However, the Championship of 1889 would prove to be the last at Musselburgh as the Honourable Company relocated to a new private club at Muirfield, which duly joined the list of Open venues in 1892.

Fast forward to the present day and Musselburgh’s Old Course is open to the public year-round, with its nine-hole layout – enclosed within the town’s racecourse - largely unchanged from the days when it staged golf’s original major.



Turnberry, a four-time host of The Open

Location: South Ayrshire, Scotland 

Number of Opens hosted: 4 (1977, 1986, 1994, 2009)

Champion Golfers at Turnberry: Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Nick Price, Stewart Cink.

Course record in The Open: 63 – Mark Hayes (1977) and Greg Norman (1986)

Best aggregate score in a 72-hole Open: 268 – Tom Watson (1977) and Nick Price (1994)

Comfortably the most recent addition to the list of courses to have hosted The Open, Turnberry was the setting for an all-time classic in its very first staging of the Championship.

Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus’ Duel in the Sun served as a remarkable introduction to The Open’s newest venue in 1977.

Following wins for Greg Norman and Nick Price in 1986 and 1994 respectively, Watson was then at the heart of more incredible drama when The Open returned to Turnberry in 2009.

At the age of 59, Watson appeared poised to claim a record-equalling sixth Claret Jug when he came up the last holding a one-shot lead, but he finished with a bogey and was beaten in a play-off by Stewart Cink.

The picturesque Ailsa course features a number of spectacular views, with the Isle of Arran, Ailsa Craig and the unmistakeable Turnberry Lighthouse among the most notable scenery.


Royal Cinque Ports

An aerial view of Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club

Location: Deal, Kent, England 

Number of Opens hosted: 2 (1909, 1920)

Champion Golfers at Royal Cinque Ports: J.H. Taylor, George Duncan.

Course record in The Open: 71 – George Duncan and Len Holland (both 1920)

Best aggregate score in a 72-hole Open: 295 – J.H. Taylor (1909)

A couple of miles down the coastline from Royal St George’s sits Royal Cinque Ports, the venue for The Open in 1909 and 1920.

Highly regarded by the likes of Bernard Darwin, Peter Alliss and Gary Player, the course has a classic out-and-back layout and was in line to host The Open on three additional occasions.

However, The Opens of 1938 and 1949 were each transferred to Royal St George’s following severe flooding at Cinque Ports, while the Championship of 1942 was cancelled due to World War II.

George Duncan’s victory at Cinque Ports in 1920 came courtesy of an astonishing fightback. The eventual Champion was 13 shots behind at the halfway stage after two rounds of 80, but then shot scores of 71 and 72 to win by two.


Royal Portrush

Fans on the first hole at Royal Portrush in 2019

Location: County Antrim, Northern Ireland 

Number of Opens hosted: 2 (1951, 2019)

Champion Golfers at Royal Portrush: Max Faulkner, Shane Lowry.

Course record in The Open: 63 – Shane Lowry (2019)

Best aggregate score in a 72-hole Open: 269 – Shane Lowry (2019)

There was a 68-year gap between the first and second Opens at Royal Portrush, but only six years will separate the second and third Championships at the venue, with the announcement that The Open will return to County Antrim in 2025.

Portrush made history in 1951 when it became the first club outside of Scotland or England to host The Open, with Max Faulkner securing the Claret Jug.

The Championship then returned to the Dunluce Links in 2019 for a memorable week that provided a winner from the island of Ireland in Shane Lowry and an atmosphere to rival any previous Open.

And with The 153rd Open returning soon in 2025, competitors and fans have the chance to be quickly reacquainted with a breath-taking course highlighted by the signature 16th hole, ‘Calamity Corner’.



Prince's Golf Club, which hosted The Open in 1932

Location: Sandwich, Kent, England

Number of Opens hosted: 1 (1932)

Champion Golfer at Prince’s: Gene Sarazen.

Course record in The Open: 68 – Arthur Havers (1932)

Best aggregate score in a 72-hole Open: 283 – Gene Sarazen (1932)

The return to Portrush in 2019 leaves Prince’s as the only venue to have hosted just one Open Championship.

Royal St George’s neighbouring course, which offers stunning views of the Kent coastline, has been a regular site for Final Qualifying in recent years.

Yet its only staging of The Open itself came in 1932, when the great Gene Sarazen stormed to a wire-to-wire victory.

Prince’s then sustained significant damage during World War II, necessitating a comprehensive redesign in the early 1950s that saw 17 of the original greens incorporated into a new 27-hole layout.

The nine-hole ‘Shore’ and ‘Dunes’ courses were used for Final Qualifying in 2021, with the ‘Himalayas’ course providing the other nine holes at Prince’s.

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