Royal Birkdale Golf Club - 16th October 2011 - The Links
Royal Birkdale Golf Club - 16th October 2011

World class and The best of The Open courses

Royal Birkdale has hosted The Open nine times with the first in 1954 and the last in 2008. Since World War two it has been hosting more championships and international matches than any other Club in the world.

To me this is a stunning golf course and the best of all The Open courses and it’s up there with Royal Portrush as the best in the world.

I’m totally blown away by this golf course and I’m having a hard time to find the right words to describe its greatness. The natural design is phenomenal, the holes are nestling there way through the dunes in a very beautiful way, almost every hole has a slight dogleg and I love it, the fairways are rather flat and fair, the bunkers are well placed and in play all the time and the greens are very fair, but must be hit.

The course is in such good condition and is manicured to the finest detail without loosing its natural beauty. The clubhouse is magnificent and has a contemporary design.

It’s simply one of the best golf courses I ever played. Is it an easy course? No, not at all. It’s a fair course, but the punishment fits the crime and you need to pull out the best of your came to battle the course. Be precise with every shot and always put the ball in position to avoid the difficulties and get the best angle for attack.

The inspiration and joy to play this course is tremendous – it must be a golfers heaven.

The three par 5’s are brilliant, not long, but challenging. The par 4’s are mostly around 400 yards and also challenging. The par 3’s are rather short, but tricky to stick the ball on. The last stretch of holes (15th through 18th) is tough to beat. All holes are great on the course, but the following got a little extra attention from me:

Hole 10 – 355 yards par 4

A short dogleg left hole. A well-placed drive is needed to open up the angle to attack the green. Three fairway bunkers are in play about 190 yards out and another two about 250 yards out, so a precise tee shot is exactly what you need. No major difficulties around green, so the tee shot is what it’s all about. A well placed fairway wood, an 8 iron to the middle of the green and two put for a par.

Hole 13 – 422 yards par 4

A challenging hole made difficult by the fairway bunkers at drive length – accuracy needed and you need to be long. The approach shot also needs to be long and avoid the three bunkers in front of the green. The green has a beautiful position in front of tall sand dunes. A very good drive 270 yards out in the middle of fairway, a 7 iron to about 5 feet from hole, missed the birdie put for a par. Good play.

Hole 15 – 499 yards par 5

It’s a narrow hole and you need to avoid all the 15 bunkers. Only two bunkers are at the green and all the other around fairway. I think you know what’s needed to play this hole! Found a bunker off tee, got out of the bunker with good distance, found another bunker on the approach shot, up and 10 feet from the hole, two put for a bogey 6. Great hole and accuracy is the name of the game.

Hole 17 – 509 yards par 5

Accuracy needed again. Drive plays between two large sand dunes and avoiding two well-placed bunkers on the right. A large deep bunker is to be avoided on your second shot. You need to manage the two tiers green that’s protected by some severe bunkers and dramatic contouring. Great drive in the middle of fairway 280 yards out, 4 iron avoiding the bunkers, short pitch to about 15 feet from the hole and a two put for a par. Good ball striking.

I had the pleasure of playing with Tim Synk from USA. Great guy who made the game much enjoyable and he played very well across all 18 holes. Tim had the “shot of the day” with a 35 yard put for a birdie on the 15th hole – well done. Tim, thanks for a great day.


The great inspiration and some good ball striking made the score for me today. Made 39 shots on the front nine and 40 on the back for a total of 79 shots (gross). I’m extremely happy with this score and I really deserved it this day.

Royal Birkdale is just a stunning world class golf course and it’s hard to describe it’s greatness. It was just one of the best golfing experiences I ever had. The best is to experience it yourself – go and play it, you’ll never ever forget about it.

Royal Birkdale Golf Club