The R&A has announced that Royal Birkdale will host the Open Championship in 2017, with Carnoustie staging the event in 2018.
Five-time Open champion Tom Watson, who won the Open at Royal Birkdale in 1983 and at Carnoustie in 1975, joined the R&A to make the announcement at the Greenbrier.
“I am delighted to see the Open returning to two great venues in Royal Birkdale and Carnoustie,” he said. “I know both courses are held in high regard by the players and I certainly consider them to be wonderful tests of golf.
“When I first played in the Open at Carnoustie I still had a lot to learn about links golf but I quickly adapted to the challenge of playing in the wind and keeping the ball low. I played well that week and was thrilled to win the play-off.
“Royal Birkdale is also a fine links course and I have always thoroughly enjoyed playing there. I think the players and the fans will be excited to see the top players playing these courses once again.”
For Royal Birkdale, 2017 will mark the tenth time that it has staged golf’s oldest professional tournament. Ireland’s Padraig Harrington won by four shots from Ian Poulter the last time it was played there in 2008.
"The 2018 Open Championship will provide a big boost to golf in the local area." - Pat Sawers, Carnoustie Golf Links
Harrington was also the winner the last time that the Open visited Carnoustie, pipping Sergio Garcia to the title after a play-off to claim his first major victory.
The 2018 Open Championship will be the eighth time that the Open has been staged at Carnoustie and Pat Sawers, chairman of Carnoustie Golf Links, commented: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming the Open Championship back for an eighth time to the historic links at Carnoustie in 2018 and feel sure the championship will generate just as much interest and excitement as in previous years.
“We believe the fact the R&A has invited us to stage the 2018 Open Championship will provide a big boost to golf in the local area and will have a beneficial effect on our on-going efforts to attract more local youngsters into the game.”
Meanwhile, Richard Hunt, the captain of Royal Birkdale, remarked: “We will be delighted to welcome The Open Championship back to Royal Birkdale in 2017. The club has a long and proud history of hosting the Open and some of the game's greatest players have won here. We regard it as a privilege to host the championship and look forward to seeing the world's top players facing the challenges of Royal Birkdale once again."
The Open Championship: 2017 & 2018
The Open Championship will be played at Royal Birkdale from 20-23 July 2017 and at Carnoustie from 19-22 July 2018.