The Open Championship returns to Royal Liverpool on the Wirral in 2022 – and when it does, there will be a brand new hole for players to tackle.
The iconic Hoylake course is currently undergoing a number of changes - recommended by top design firm Mackenzie & Ebert - which club officials say are designed to make it ‘an even more attractive test of golf, and a future friendly Open Championship venue’.
The changes include the construction of a brand new par-3 17th hole
Measuring only 139 yards and with a green located approximately on the same site as the current championship 15th tee, players will hit towards an elevated green looking out to the Dee Estuary.
This is the biggest of a number of alterations that are being made to the course, which staged golf’s oldest professional championship most recently in 2014.
In addition, the front of the championship green will be raised to produce a flatter landing area, which will enable more pin positions. The seventh green is also being to moved to the left of its current location, which will enable the construction of a new tee complex for the eighth hole, whilst a new run-off area will be fashioned on the 13th green.
The changes to the 17th hole have also made it possible for two new tees to be built for the par-5 18th hole, extending the finisher to fully 607 yards.
Andrew Goodwin, the club’s ‘Chairman of Green’, explained that the decision to make the changes hadn’t been taken lightly.
“Throughout the club’s 150-year history, alterations have been made and Royal Liverpool has continued to evolve and improve, ensuring it remains a wonderful challenge for both amateur and elite professional golfers alike,” he added.
“The club is eager to remain a regular host of the Open. It attracts the world’s best players to Wirral and brings a huge economic benefit for the region. Of course, the many visitors we are delighted to welcome every year want to play the best courses in the country, and we believe the changes will make Hoylake even better.”
The first, and largest, phase of works is almost complete and there will be some mild disruption for members and visitors until June 2020. The second phase will begin in the autumn and will be largely focused on off-course alterations.
Club secretary Simon Newland remarked: “The work is carefully coordinated. At Hoylake, we like to think of the club as very proud of its past but also excited by the future, so we look forward to welcoming visitors to the new look links and, of course, showing the changes to the world when the Open returns to Royal Liverpool in the summer of 2022."
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