Royal Birkdale Golf Club

Originally Published: August 19, 2004
Golf Digest

Royal Birkdale
On holes like the par-5 6th, just keep repeating to yourself, "Don't miss the fairway. Don't miss the fairway. Don't miss..."

Golf Digest's Best Places to Play rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Need To Know
Royal Birkdale Golf Club
Waterloo Road
Birkdale, Southport, PR8 2LX, England
01704 568857

Few English courses better convey the flavor of seaside golf than Royal Birkdale. The course, set amid a glorious expanse of dunes along the Lancashire coast, offers golf of a target nature. To miss a fairway here most likely will leave you staring at a ball engulfed by the willow scrub that pervades the course.

Fred Hawtree remodeled Birkdale in 1932. He was assisted by John H. Taylor, who won five British Opens (second only to Harry Vardon's six titles). Ironically, none of Taylor's wins came at Royal Birkdale. In the last four British Opens there the winners were Johnny Miller in 1976, Tom Watson in 1983, Ian Baker-Finch in 1991 and Mark O'Meara in 1998.