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Everything you need to know about The British Open Golf Championships

1 year ago

All eyes will be on Merseyside as one of sport’s most famous global tournaments gets underway. 

We’re just days away from watching the world’s top golfers teeing off for the 151st British Open Golf Championships.

And whether you’re an armchair spectator or one of the lucky ones looking forward to seeing golfing greats on the historic Hoylake course, as the countdown begins here’s everything you need to know… 

When are the British Open Golf Championships?

The week-long event will be held from Sunday, July 16 to Sunday, July 23.

Where will they be held?

The Open 2023 will be held at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake

The Championships will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake in Wirral.

Who will be playing?

Out of a field of 156 players, there’ll sadly be no Tiger Woods as he recovers from surgery, but there will still be plenty of famous faces to see, like Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth.  Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau will also be among those competing, as will Matthew Jordan who secured his place in the field at his home club. Defending champion Cameron Smith returns the Claret Jug he won at St Andrews last year. 

Can I still get a ticket?

If you were unsuccessful in the ballot held earlier, or missed the entry window, you may still be able to secure tickets for Hoylake. You’ll need to be a member of the Open’s free-to-join membership programme, but then you can go on its official Ticket Resale Platform where fans can safely buy and sell any unwanted tickets from each other at face value prices.

How do I get there?

As you might expect with the high numbers expected – around 250,000 – spectators are being asked to use public transport to minimise road traffic congestion, and those staying in the area are being asked to consider ‘active travel’ like walking or cycling. 

By rail

Merseyrail / Stadler 777

Merseyrail’s got train services on routes across Merseyside to Hoylake – the nearest station to Royal Liverpool – and capacity will be more than doubled during the week of The Open. Connections from the wider rail network to the Merseyrail Wirral Line are available from Bidston, Chester, Ellesmere Port, Liverpool Central and Liverpool Lime Street.

For timetables and ticket information click here.

Merseyrail services are not affected by the ongoing industrial action and will run as planned to and from Hoylake during The Open. But spectators travelling by rail from outside Merseyside may be affected by strike action on Thursday, July 20 and Saturday, July 22. It may also affect services on Wednesday, July 19; Friday, July 21, and Sunday, July 23. Anyone planning to use services run by any of the 14 train companies affected by the strike action (Chiltern Railways, Cross Country Trains, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Northern Trains, South Eastern, South Western Railway, Transpennine Express, Avanti West Coast, West Midlands Trains and GTR, including Gatwick Express) on these dates should check their journey before they travel. 

By coach

National Express will run enhanced coach services to and from Liverpool during The Open on routes across the UK. Liverpool ONE Bus Station is about 600m from Liverpool Central Station, where you can connect to Merseyrail’s train services to and from Hoylake.

By bus

There are local buses across Wirral which connect to nearby areas likeMeols, Moreton and Bidston, with an interchange at Birkenhead for services to Liverpool and Chester – all details are on Merseytravel’s website.

Stagecoach operates the 38 service, which connects Hoylake to Birkenhead and the surrounding area, and the 1 and X1 services, which connect Birkenhead to Liverpool and Chester. All Stagecoach services stop on Meols Drive, approximately 450m from the main public entrance to The Open.

For more info click here.

Arriva runs the 407 and 437 services, which connect Hoylake and West Kirby to Birkenhead and the surrounding area. The 407 service stops on Meols Drive, and the 437 service stops at West Kirby Station, which is about 1km from the golf course. 

By car

From the North – leave the M6 at J26 and follow signs for the M58 towards Liverpool. At the end of the M58, follow signs for the A59 towards Liverpool and continue to follow the A59 through the Wallasey Tunnel. Once through the tunnel continue on the M53 and follow signs for The Open Park & Ride.

If you don’t want to go through the tunnel (and pay a £2 toll charge) continue on the M6 to J20A to join the M56 towards Chester and Runcorn then follow the directions ‘From the East’ below.

From the East – follow the M62/M60 westbound. Leave the M60 at J12 and keep right to join the M62 westbound towards Liverpool. At J10, leave the M62 to join the M6 southbound towards Birmingham and Chester.

Leave the M6 at J20A and keep right to join the M56 towards Chester and Runcorn. At J15, leave the M56 to join the M53 towards Ellesmere Port. Continue on the M53 and follow signs for The Open Park & Ride.

From the South – leave the M6 at J20 and keep left to join the M56 towards North Wales and Chester. At J15, leave the M56 to join the M53 towards Ellesmere Port. Continue on the M53 and follow signs for The Open Park & Ride.

From the West – From North Wales, follow the A55 eastbound towards Chester. Continue on the A55 to join the M53 towards Ellesmere Port. Continue on the M53 and follow signs for The Open Park & Ride.

Where can I park?

There will be no public car parking available at Royal Liverpool or in the immediate surrounding area. All public parking will be provided at managed Park & Ride sites with the exception of pre-booked Blue Badge parking. First and last Park & Ride service times to and from the course vary throughout the week – as do gate opening times – but you can find them all on The Open website: 

Be warned, temporary traffic regulations and parking restrictions will be introduced and enforced by Wirral Borough Council in order to minimise disruption, help traffic flow, and increase safety and security.

If you’re going by bike

National Cycle Route 89 forms part of the Wirral Circular Trail which links Hoylake and West Kirby with the rest of the Wirral Peninsula via a coastal walking and cycling route.

A cycle park will be provided on the former Hoylake Municipal Golf Course, adjacent to the cycle path that runs alongside the railway line.

Follow the blue cycle route signage to Hoylake on the Wirral Circular Trail, then look out for signs for Bicycle Parking on approach to The Open. It will be 300m from the main spectator entrance.

What are the most exciting holes on the course?

It’s regarded as one of the finest courses in the country and Hoylake has been recently refined. Spectators and players will get their first look at Royal Liverpool’s new par 3 hole, named Little Eye after one of the three small islands in the Dee Estuary beyond its elevated green. It’s The Open’s 17th hole and, if Hoylake’s famous winds blow, it will present exciting challenges to competitors on the brink of finishing their rounds. The third hole, which includes a long-stretch of internal out-of-bounds, is regarded as one of the hardest holes on The Open rota, and the long par 5 finishing hole is also a thriller.

Has the Royal Liverpool hosted the event before?

The 151st Open will be the 13th time Royal Liverpool has hosted the event. The first was in 1897 when local amateur hero Harold Hilton from West Kirby was crowned Champion Golfer. 

What’s the history of the Royal Liverpool Golf Club?

It was founded in 1869 on land which was also used by the Liverpool Hunt Club, and for the first few years it doubled as golf course and racecourse until the horses left for pastures new. The layout of the racecourse is still visible, bordering the Championship’s 3rd and 18th holes – while the saddling bell can be found in the clubhouse, and two holes have racing related names: Course and Stand.

What style course is Royal Liverpool?

Royal Liverpool is a links golf course, the oldest style of course first developed in Scotland, and laid out across sandy coastland.

What does the winner of The Open receive?

The winner of The Open is presented withThe Claret Jug. Open champion in 1860, Willie Park Sr, was given the Challenge Belt, made from red leather with silver buckles and emblems.

Three consecutive wins by a player entitled him to keep it, which meant Young Tom Morris, winner in 1868, 1869 and 1870, became its owner.

The following year there was no competition – because there was no trophy to present! When agreement was reached in 1872 to resume The Open, the Challenge Belt’s was to be replaced with a silver claret jug, but it wasn’t finished when Young Tom Morris won again.

It was 1873 champion Tom Kidd who became the first golfer to actually receive the jug, although Tom’s name was the first to be engraved on it.

For more on the British Open Golf Championships click here.



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