Play golf at Royal Liverpool, home of The Open 2023 and the epicentre of English links golf.

The Open, the longest running golf tournament in history, comes to Royal Liverpool in 2023. And this will be the claret jug’s only stop in England for the next four years, travelling to Scotland and Northern Ireland next.

Liverpool is known as the city of the Beatles, but many have yet to discover the local Golf courses that have crowned more than 30 Golf Champions of the Year. Visiting Liverpool offers the opportunity to play golf at Royal Liverpool, Royal Birkdale and Royal Lytham & St. Annes. These three courses are The Open venues, are just 30 miles apart and are all on Golf-Digest’s list of the top 100 courses in the world. This is the best epicentre for golf in England.

Royal-Lytham-St-Annes-Lowgolf-The-Open-2023-01The Open 2023

Just off the plane, it’s only a 21-mile drive to play golf at Royal Liverpool, where The Open will be played in 2023. Also known as Hoylake and founded in 1869, Royal Liverpool is the second oldest coastal links course in England. It is second only to its equally “regal” companion Royal North Devon GC. As they say in golf, all roads lead to St Andrews as the original routing of Royal Liverpool is attributed to the St Andrews pair of George Morris (older brother of the legendary Old Tom Morris) and Robert Chambers. In addition, this brilliant pair was joined by the figure of Harry Colt. Colt expanded Hoylake to 18 holes with a series of splendid natural holes surrounded by dunes along the coast. 

Playing golf at Royal Liverpool means seeing first-hand a course that has now hosted 12 editions of The Open, including victories by Tiger Woods in 2006 and Rory McIlroy in 2014, in a fierce battle with Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler. Royal Liverpool has also played a pivotal role in the development of amateur competition, but that’s a story we’ll tell another time.

 The epicentre of English links 

After a stroll through the pubs that saw the Beatles grow up in Liverpool’s city centre, 15 miles separate you from the second best course in England (Golf Digest rankings). Royal Birkdale is such a fascinating course that Golf Digest ranks it tied with Royal Melbourne (Australia) as the 23rd best course in the world. Such a feat is the result of the work of three generations of the Hawtree family, who boast the world’s oldest golf course design firm. Frederick Hawtree created the current routing in 1931. Thirty years later, his son Fred remodelled it by adding the iconic Par-3 12th hole. And finally, grandson Martin overhauled the Royal Birkdale Golf Course to host its tenth edition of The Open, which Jordan Spieth won in 2017. 

At Royal Birkdale you will find a historic venue where Seve’s legend in world golf was born after finishing second in his first appearance at The Open in 1976. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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The home of Seve

If Liverpool is the city of the Beatles, Royal-Lytham & St Annes is the home of Severiano Ballesteros. It was the work of Harry Colt with its 1919 redesign and is where Seve got two of his three claret jugs. In his 1977 victory, Seve made the famous approach from the car park on the 16th hole that allowed him to birdie the hole later and win The Open. This was not the case for Adam Scott in 2011, who succumbed on the final holes to hand victory to Ernie Els.


Royal-Lytham is a special stop, as Colt’s redesign announced the course to the world as a benchmark for natural bunkering. This third “Royal” course lies across the Birkdale Estuary and according to Golf Digest is the 53rd best course in the world.

Hiding places to discover Like all travel, playing golf in England can also take you to some unusual Golf courses. Some of them are steeped in history and others are secrets that no one has told you about yet. On one side we have Hillside, just 300 metres from Royal Birkdale, which contains, according to Greg Norman, “the best second nine holes in England”. And on the other side is Formby GC with 137 years of history and 6 miles from the latter two. These are beautiful golf courses combining a links layout of fairways through rolling sand dunes with tall pine trees surrounding them. This gives both layouts a wilder and more distinctive beauty than the previous ones mentioned above.

This area of Southport has some real pearls and we cannot fail to mention West Lancashire, designed by C.K. Cotton, Southport & Ainsdale and Hesketh. Although for the more adventurous there are also surprises in the Chester area such as Carden Park or the hidden links

Jorge Porta

Jorge Porta

I enjoy playing, reading and writing about golf... I enjoy travelling with Lowgolf around the world and visiting the kind of courses that only a few people know about.

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