Royal Lytham & St. Annes
Designer: Harry S. Colt
Length: 7,118 yards
Royal Lytham opened for play in 1886 and was later remodelled by three legendary architects, Harry Colt, Herbert Fowler and Tom Simpson. It has hosted the Open Championship a total of 11 times, most recently in 2012 when Ernie Els took home the Claret Jug.
The course is definitely a links but is not right beside the sea. The conditioning of the course is exceptional and the ground is relatively even, making it a favourite of pros looking to avoid odd bounces in the fairway.
The greens are firm, fast and true, putting a premium on well struck approach shots and a deft putting touch. Royal Lytham and St. Annes is not a “classical” links course with shaggy dunes, undulating fairways or sea views. But it does have a ton of character, provides a superb test of golf, and has loads of history.