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Royal Liverpool Golf Club Guide to the course

By: | Thu 10 Jul 2014 | Comments


HOYLAKE measures 7,350 yards and is a par 72. Unusually, the front nine is a par 35, the back nine 37. The front nine measures 3,565 yards, while the back nine is 3,785 yards long

Hole 1, Royal, par 4, 457 yards
Setting off away from the clubhouse, this hole is named after the Royal Hotel which housed the first clubhouse way back in 1869. A new green was created in 2010 and is difficult to hit with a long iron. The ideal drive is played close to the bunker on the left, which leaves the best angle to this well protected, long, narrow green. The green is one of the toughest to putt on, so accept a two putt and move on

Hole 2, Stand, par 4, 456 yards
Bunkers right and left mean you have to be accurate off the tee. The second shot is played to an undulating green which has well-positioned bunkers that allow flag positions to be tucked behind them. Players who are too greedy will see their ball being thrown off the green, leaving a difficult recovery shot

Hole 3, Course, par 4, 429 yards
With a tee shot flanked by out of bounds on one side and the clubhouse on the other, this is a challenging hole which requiring accuracy and courage. A sharp dog leg to the right demands a well positioned drive as close to the corner of the practice ground as possible. Most players will face a second shot of 160-170 yards to a green protected by a swale on the left side, away from the out of bounds close on the right.

Hole 4 Road, par 4, 372 yards
Played to the only green which remains from the original course layout, the Road hole looks pretty easy but three new bunkers where drives land will swallow wayward tee shots. A drive on the left side of the fairway will offer you the best angle of approach to a well protected green which slopes from front to back. Players will be looking for birdies here

Hole 5 Long par 5, 535 yards
Threading a drive between the gorse to the left and the strategically positioned bunkers on the right, most players should look to play their second shots to the right side of the fairway from where they will get the best angle of approach to a two tier green. End up on the wrong part of the green and you will do well to get away with two putts. Another great birdie opportunity


Hole 6 New, par 3, 202 yards
Normally played into a crosswind, this is the first of Hoylake's par threes and is surrounded by deep bunkers. Take one more club than you think and aim to the right side of the green. It is vital to carry the huge bunker on the front right of the green, where the natural slope will take the ball back towards the hole.

Hole 7 Telegraph, par 4, 483 yards
Telegraph is another difficult driving hole with bunkers left and right. The right side is also protected by extensive gorse, which looks pretty but is to be avoided at all costs. However, the best line is to hit your drive as close to the right side of the fairway as possible. Any tee shot which is too cautious will mean a second shot played over a bunker which guards the front left of the green. This is another hole that plays one club longer than it at first appears

Hole 8 Briars, par 4, 433 yards
The most daunting drive on the course. Players face an out of bounds hedge in front of them, requiring a carry of 190 yards to clear it. Any drive in the middle of the fairway will leave a middle iron to the green. Another good birdie chance

Hole 9 Dowie, par 3, 198 yards
The wind often blows from right to left and the pin position can make a big difference to your choice of shot. Bunkers front left and right protect a narrow green which will throw the ball from a less than perfect shot into complex swales

Hole 10 Far, par 5, 534 yards
The furthest part of the course from the clubhouse, Far has seen many famous players come to grief, none more so than the great Bobby Jones, who, on his way to his famous Grand Slam in 1930, took seven on this straightforward par 5. Players must stay away from the deep bunker which protects the front right hand side of the green. Most of the field will look to pick up a shot here

Hole 11 Punch Bowl, par 4, 393 yards
No matter how well or badly you are playing, it is difficult not to enjoy the glorious views that awaits on the tee. The Welsh hills and Dee estuary provide a scenic backdrop to the first of four holes which run along the shore

Hole 12, Dee, par 4, 448 yards
A dog leg to the left which invariably plays longer than its yardage, Dee is a tough par four. It is tempting to try to take off some of the dog-leg when faced with three bunkers on the right of the fairway, but nobody wants to finish in the deep rough on the left, which has the potential to be a round-breaker

Hole 13, Alps, par 3, 198 yards
Ignore the beautiful scenery and ensure you take enough club to carry the mounds guarding the front left hand side of the green. Par is a good score here

Hole 14, Hilbre, par 4, 456 yards
Many people believe Hilbre, named after the nearby Hilbre Island, is the best hole on the course. It is another dog leg, this time to the left. The big-hitters (which accounts for about 99% of the field) will try to carry the bunkers protecting the corner of the hole and will be looking a birdie

Hole 15, Rushes, par 3, 161 yards
Rushes proves that a par three does not have to be long to provide a test. The tee is elevated and set into the sand dunes with great views of the Dee Estuary. At first glance, there appears to be a little trouble but a wayward shot will leave an extremely tricky chip or bunker shot

Hole 16, Field, par 5, 576 yards
This is the start of Hoylake's feared finishing stretch, which can make or break a round. A long par five, it requires a drive aimed towards the fairway bunkers on the left side and probably a three wood to reach the green. There will be some eagles here, but players must be careful to avoid Farrar's Folly, a grassy hollow at the front right of the green, named after a former club secretary

Hole 17, Lake, par 4, 459 yards
Into the prevailing southwesterly wind, Lake is one of the hardest holes on the course. A long, straight drive, avoiding bunkers at driving distanc,e is necessary to have any chance of hitting the green. A long second shot is played to a classic two-tier green. Anything missing short left has the dual challenge of thick rough and tricky bunkers. Despite its name, there are no hidden water features to look out for


Hole 18, Dun, par 5, 560 yards
Played around the out of bounds line of the practice ground, the drive must be aimed at the dog leg. From there you can play safely to the left or skirt the out of boundse, which will leave an easier approach to a long green set at an angle to the second shot and protected to the front by bunkers to the left and right. Expect high drama if somebody comes to the 18th needing a bidie to pick up the Claret Jug

And there you have it. Sounds easy, doesn't it?

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