The Open Championship is one of golf’s greatest traditions for many reasons, but perhaps none more than its setting. The Open has built a reputation as a traveling advertisement for the game of golf at its roots, visiting many of the oldest and most historic sites in a subsection of the continent chock full of them.
Every year, the Open serves as a reminder of golf history, and its venues serve as a reminder of the way in which the game was first played — with undulating terrain, windy linksland and firm, fast conditions.
Years ago, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (or The R&A) doubled down on its efforts to harken The Open back to the history of the sport through the creation of the Open Championship rota. Rather than send the tournament to dozens of different locations throughout the British Isles, the R&A elected to create a list of 10 core courses they felt served as quintessential tests. Included among those 10 are the following:
– The Old Course at St. Andrews
– Royal St. Georges
– Royal Liverpool
– Royal Troon
– Royal Lytham and St. Annes
– Royal Portrush
– Royal Birkdale
The decision benefitted The R&A twofold: it allowed the governing body to invest more heavily in building tournament infrastructure at each of the locations, and it allowed fans to grow more closely attached to each of the hosts.
The Old Course at St. Andrews has hosted the most Opens (29), while Turnberry has not received an Open bid in more than a decade; Lytham hasn’t hosted an Open since 2012. Still, there are only three confirmed future tournament hosts — in 2022, 2023 and 2024 — all of which saw their timelines extended when the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 Open.
As the sun begins to set on the 2021 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s, check out the list of the next three Open hosts below.