Royal Birkdale Hole by Hole Guide
Royal Birkdale hosts the Open Championship for a tenth time in 2017 as the British Open will be played there between 20th to 23rd July. We have provided a guide for each hole at the course in Southport, Merseyside, which should prove to be a handy tool when considering the odds and your bets for the Open Championship.
Royal Birkdale Scorecard
Total: 6817 yards - Par 71
2017 British Open Hole by Hole Guide
Hole 1 - 450 yards - Par 4
The first hole at Royal Birkdale holds no prisoners as many rank as it as one of the most difficult holes on the course. It could well set the tone for a golfer's day and an accurate tee shot is absolutely crucial if they are to have any chance of attacking the pin, which is in itself a demanding shot.
Hole 2 - 418 yards - Par 4
There is a slight dog left that requires the shot to be played into the prevailing wind, whilst avoiding the two bunkers on the right of the fairway. There are more obstacles to negotiate as the green is protected by bunkers and plenty of rough.
Hole 3 - 406 yards - Par 4
The opening drive from the third hole will need to favour the left hand side of the fairway to allow for a clear shot to the green. The drive will need to be accurate though as two bunkers protect the left hand side. The undulating greens are protected by further bunkers so any wayward shot is punished to the maximum.
Hole 4 - 200 yards - Par 3
The longest of the par threes on the course, the fourth hole measures 200 yards exactly and is played from an elevated tee to a green which is about 30 feet below.
Hole 5 - 343 yards - Par 4
The fifth hole represents the first real/risk reward hole on the front-nine of the course as the longer hitters in the field may want to take on the dog leg which goes from left to right, which would allow them to play across the corner of deep rough and small pond to the right of the hole.
Hole 6 - 488 yards - Par 5
An accurate drive is crucial thanks to the site of bunkers on both sides of the fairway and a long second shot is also required to reach an elevated green that is protected by bunkers to the front.
Hole 7 - 177 yards - Par 3
The seventh hole requires a firm shot over some rough country to a green that resembles an upturned saucer shape. It is the shortest of the par three holes on the course but it requires a crisp drive to a small target.
Hole 8 - 413 yards - Par 4
The eighth hole is flanked by bunkers on each side so accuracy is again the order of the day and a second shot is played to a large green, which is protected by deep bunkers. The undulating green can make putting difficult.
Hole 9 - 410 yards - Par 4
The final hole on the front nine. The par four involves a tricky tee shot that is almost played blind to find position on the fairway. Club selection will be crucial from here as the green is slightly elevated, with bunkers providing protection at the front and there is plenty of rough behind.
Hole 10 - 408 yards - Par 4
A relatively short par four, the tenth hole puts a premium on a well placed drive to open up the green. The big hitters may look to clear the hazards but there is a high element of risk with this approach because deep rough lies to the left of the green, while any shot behind could well run away.
Hole 11 - 378 yards - Par 4
Accuracy is again the order of the day at the eleventh hole, both off the tee and with the second shot, so club accuracy will be vital.
Hole 12 - 181 yards - Par 3
A joy to behold, this par three involves deep bunkers and rough protecting the green but it is one of the best holes on the course, with subtle contouring and an extremely small target in sight.
Hole 13 - 433 yards - Par 4
A very tough hole, the thirteenth requires a long and accurate tee shot to give room for a second shot to the picturesque green. A good short game will then be needed to get up and down to make par four.
Hole 14 - 199 yards - Par 3
The final par three on the course and it is played from an elevated tee, with the green surrounded by bunkers that are waiting to gobble up any wayward efforts.
Hole 15 - 544 yards - Par 5
The longest hole on the course, weighing in at 544 yards, and there are no fewer than fifteen bunkers along the way (mostly along the fairway). A perfect way to warm up for the final three holes.
Hole 16 - 370 yards - Par 4
There is some testing, rough ground to bypass with a long drive and the second shot is played toward an elevated green, which is protected by some unforgiving deep bunkers.
Hole 17 - 527 yards - Par 5
There are two large bunkers on the right of the fairway and the opening drive has to be hit between two large sand dunes. The ground is normally firm along the fairway and the ball should carry on nicely, although the two-tier green boasts hazards on both the left and right hand side.
Hole 18 - 472 yards - Par 5
A perfect way to end the Open Championship. A demanding shot with 'Out Of Bounds' to tie right of the tee and a long second shot to a green that is well-protected by bunkers. It is then a case of putting out in front of the iconic Art-Deco style clubhouse.