It’s not just any Open Championship week, it’s the 150th Open Championship at the home of golf, the Old Course at St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland. We’ll be covering the even for Golf News Net, with a piece a day all week, followed by coverage on iHeartRadio and updates for 92.7 the Drive.
We’ll take our usual walk through golf history, get into the players heads with interviews, and break down both the course and the field. But for now, it’s never too early to plan for next year. Here’s the confirmed Open Championship venues going forward:
2023 Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, ENGLAND
Royal Liverpool (Hoylake to its friends) won’t win any beauty contests. The course only comes within sight of the ocean for a smattering of holes mid-round. Worse still, Hoylake features the most odious and laziest of all hazards: internal out of bounds. And if that’s not enough, they have to re-kajigger the routing, playing the 17th and 18th before playing the first because a) the players hated facing an opening drive with OB all along one side (who wants to open the day with triple) and b) the 16th (now 18th) is a short par-5 that, because of OB all align the right, can dole out anything from a an eagle to a quad.
Still, the pedigree of its list of champions is nigh unparalleled: Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Roberto DiVicenzo, Peter Thompson, and Bobby Jones (it was the second leg of his 1930 Grand Slam). Best of all, its proximity to other great courses is a huge bonus; Lytham, Birkdale, and Wallasey – among England’ greatest links – are all a short drive away as is the wonderful Formby.
2024 Royal Troon, South Ayrshire, SCOTLAND
In 2024 Royal Troon will not only host its tenth Open, it will also publicly commemorate the 100th anniversary of its first Open Championship, won by Arthur Havens. Mind you, Havens actually won that tournament in 1923. But Covid delayed the Open schedule by a year, hence celebrating the centennial a year late, but with – deservedly so – far more fanfare and media attention.
Troon has seen seminal history in its century plus of hosting the Open. Henrik Stenson won the second Duel in the Sun in 2016 racing past Phil Mickelson with a major championship record final round – a 63. Tom Watson won his fourth of five Open Championships at Troon in 1982. Other champions at Troon include Tom Weiskopf, Arnold Palmer, and Bobby Locke.
2025 Royal Portrush (Dunluce Links), Portrush, County Antrim, NORTHERN IRELAND
Portrush has hosted only two Open Championships, but both of them are among the most memorable in the Open’s long, venerable history. The great Max Faulkner, who won 19 tournaments worldwide, captured his only major championship at Portrush in 1951.
It took 68 years for the Open to return to Portrush, but when it did, we heard the cheering all the way across the pond. Hometown hero, Irishman Shane Lawry hoisted the Claret Jug in front of adoring countrymen. Hollywood could not have written a better script…unless it was Rory McIlroy or Darren Clarke.
***UNCONFIRMED, BUT HIGHLY LIKELY***
2026 Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s, Lancashire, ENGLAND
Remember a few paragraphs ago where we discussed the R&A’s penchant for celebrating 100th anniversaries? Well the 100th anniversary of the first Open Championship at Lytham in…wait for it…2026. It hasn’t been announced, but all the planets seem aligned: 10th anniversary, haven’t been there in 10 years, it’s England’s turn in the rotation.
The list of Lytham’s Open Champions reads like a Who’s Who of the greatest professional golfers of their generation: Bobby Jones, Bobby Locke, Peter Thomson, Bob Charles, Tony Jacklin, Gary Player, and Seve Ballesteros, all immortals. Two upstart Americans, Tom Lehman and David Duval, won their only majors at Lytham, finally breaking the long dry spell for Americans. And in 2012 South Africa’s Ernie Els picked up the Claret Jug that Adam Scott fumbled away by bogeying the closing four holes.
Lytham is defined by its tiny, but deep bunkers, described by British broadcaster Peter Alliss as “200 little ponds.” The par-5s are the soft underbelly of the course, and perhaps the only sections of the course where players can be aggressive. Lytham is also unique in being the only major championship course currently in use that opens with a par-3.