Tour the modern Open Championship rota: 10 courses you can play in the U.K.
The Open Championship prides itself on being true to its name. The last of the year’s four major championships is open to all, professional and amateur alike, via qualifying or special invitation.
A total of 14 courses have hosted the Open since it was first played in 1860 in Scotland. Four of those hosts (Prestwick Golf Club, where the inaugural Open was played, Musselburgh Links, Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club and Prince’s Golf Club) are no longer included on the modern rota, but like the championship itself, the other 10 are accessible to anyone who wants to tee it up — though some require more advanced planning and notice than others.
Take a scroll through the stunning linksland of the British Isles below, and enjoy a tour of the 10 courses you can play on the modern Open Championship rota.
Royal St. George’s
This year’s host has held the Open 14 previous times, dating back to 1894. Visitors are welcome, but you’ll pay between 160 GBP and 250 GBP (approximately $220-$345) per person for 18 holes, depending on the time of year.
Old Course at St. Andrews
St. Andrews, Scotland
The granddaddy of all Open venues, the Old Course at St. Andrews has hosted more Opens (29) than any other course. The rota visits St. Andrews approximately every five years, and players can look forward to teeing it up at the Old Course again next year, for the 150th playing of the Open. There are myriad ways for visitors to play, from advance bookings via golf travel agents or lucking out as a same-day walkup. But everyone can expect to pay between 98 GBP and 220 GBP ($135-$304) for the privilege.
Portrush, Northern Ireland
The site of Shane Lowry’s triumph had a 68-year lag between hosting stints, but after a wildly successful showing in 2019, it definitely won’t be as long until it stages the championship again. Green fees are 240 GPB ($332) per person.
Arguably the most exclusive of the Open rota courses, Muirfield is still accessible to the paying public on a few designated days each week for between 110 GBP and 310 GBP ($152-$429), depending on the time of year.
The last time the Open was played here, in 2014, Rory McIlroy triumphed by two shots over Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia. After St. Andrews hosts in 2022, the Open will return to Hoylake in 2023, for the 13th time. You too can play it for 135 to 245 GBP ($187-$339).
Royal Troon Golf Club
In three years, Royal Troon will stage its 10th Open Championship. Visitors can play Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between the 12th of April and the 5th of October for 260 GBP ($360).
Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club
Lytham & St. Annes, England
The last time the Open visited the quaint seaside town of Lytham & St. Annes, it was 2012, and the winner was Ernie Els. The 11-time host has yet to be tapped with a future date. Visitor rates vary seasonally, and range from 160 GBP to 285 GBP ($221-$394).
Carnoustie Golf Links
Carnoustie first hosted the Open back in 1931, and has served as the championship venue eight total times, most recently in 2018, when Francesco Molinari claimed his maiden major title. Green fees range from 192 GBP to 270 GBP ($266-$374).
At Royal Birkdale, where Jordan Spieth won his most recent major championship in 2017, fall and winter green fees include a charming add-on: soup and a sandwich. Off-season tee times are 185 GBP ($256), while a round during the high season (April – September) will cost you 250-260 GBP ($346-$360) during the week and 275-285 ($381-$394)GBP on the weekend.
South Ayrshire, Scotland
Trump Turnberry has hosted four Open Championships since its first stint in 1977, the most recent of which was in 2009, when Stewart Cink memorably prevailed over Tom Watson in a playoff. Unfortunately, the R&A says it has no plans to return anytime soon, but you can tee it up this summer for anywhere between 199 GBP to 395 GBP ($275-$547).