The Open 2014

13th-20th July

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Open Championship: Sky Sports' guide to Royal Liverpool course at Hoylake

Last Updated: 09/07/14 4:53pm

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A hole-by-hole guide of this year's Open Championship venue - Hoylake.

This year's Open will take place at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake on the Wirral. For the Open, they change the order of the 18 holes to make sure they finish on the par-five 16th, due to it's position outside the clubhouse and with it being such a good finishing hole.

So, for the pros, they start on what is usually the 17th hole for the members, which has its advantages, let's have a look at the full 18 for our Open contenders.

Hole 1 (Royal)
458 yards, par four

1st hole: Par 4, 458 yards

One of the toughest opening tee-shots on the Open rota. Deep fairway bunkers guard either side of the landing zone, while the vast, undulating green is also well-guarded by newly-installed traps. The field will gladly take a par here and sprint to the next tee!

Rank in 2006: 7

Hole 2 (Stand)
454 yards, par four

2nd hole: Par 4, 454 yards

Another tricky dogleg par-four that has been lengthened by 18 yards since 2006. Although four fairway bunkers have been removed, three traps remain around the landing zone. Any approaches coming up short are likely to find further bunkers protecting the wide green.

Rank in 2006: 3

Hole 3 (Course)
426 yards, par four

3rd hole: Par 4, 426 yards

The opening hole for the members, with out-of-bounds running the entire length of the hole down the right-hand side to put players off cutting the corner of the severe dogleg-right. There are no bunkers on this hole, but a sharp-sloping swale to the left of the green is to be avoided.

Rank in 2006: 8

Hole 4 (Road)
372 yards, par four

4th hole: Par 4, 372 yards

The shortest par-four on the course and the first realistic birdie chance. Most of the field will hit an iron or hybrid off the tee, leaving a short approach to a wide, shallow green guarded by three deep bunkers. The out-of-bounds fence to the rear of the green is unlikely to come into play.

Rank in 2006: 11

Hole 5  (Long)
528 yards, par five

5th hole: Par 5, 528 yards

Another excellent birdie chance at this risk-reward par five, although care is required from the tee to avoid a cluster of three bunkers on the outside corner of the dogleg-left. The more aggressive players will go for the green in two, but another new bunker has been installed short and right of the heavily-contoured putting surface. This hole gave up 23 eagles and 205 birdies in 2006.

Rank in 2006: 16

Hole 6 (New)
201 yards, par three:

6th hole: Par 3, 201 yards

The first of the four par-threes, and the longest at a fraction over 200 yards. The long, narrow green slopes sharply from back to front and is well protected by bunkers on both sides. Finding either of the two cavernous traps on the left leaves a particularly tough up-and-down when the pin is placed on that side.

Rank in 2006: 6

Hole 7 (Telegraph)
80 yards, par four:

7th hole: Par 4, 480 yards

A new tee has added 27 yards to a hole that was already one of the most feared at Royal Liverpool. Single bunkers lie in wait on either side of the fairway, while dense rough and heather bushes must also be avoided. The approach to a small green must clear two dangerous traps short and left.

Rank in 2006: 5

Hole 8 (Briars)
431 yards, par four:

8th hole: Par 4, 431 yards

One of the toughest tee-shots on the course, where the landing area is obscured from the tee by bushes short and left of the fairway. Two bunkers guard the right side of the landing zone, while thick gorse is on the left. The green is heavily guarded, but the vast putting surface is one of the easier targets to hit and hold.

Rank in 2006: 13

Hole 9 (Dowie)
197 yards, par three:

9th hole: Par 3, 197 yards

Another tough, long par-three to close out the front nine. The bunker short-right of the long, narrow green has been made smaller, while any shots leaking left will end up in a bigger trap or a steep gully, leaving a testing up-and-down.

Rank in 2006: 12

Hole 10 (Far)
532 yards, par five:

10th hole: Par 5, 532 yards

The inward half begins with a friendly par-five, where the players can open their shoulders on the tee as the fairway is wide and devoid of bunkers. But accuracy is required to avoid a treacherous pot bunker to the right of the green, and anything left will catch a steep run-off area and leave a tricky pitch.

Rank in 2006: 17

Hole 11 (Punch Bowl)
391 yards, par four:

11th hole: Par 4, 391 yards

Another hole with no fairway bunkers, but the narrow fairway is extremely undulating and even finding the short grass could result in a tricky stance. The left-side of the fairway is the favoured line off the tee to leave a short-iron approach to a heavily-contoured green. The bunker at the back has been removed, but the front traps now cut more into the putting surface.

Rank in 2006: 10

Hole 12 (Dee)
447 yards, par four:

12th hole: Par 4, 447 yards

The toughest hole at Royal Liverpool in 2006, due in the main to the collection of three deep fairway bunkers positioned at the elbow of a sharp dogleg-left. There are no further traps guarding the green, but the target is elevated, long and narrow and slopes significantly from back to front.

Rank in 2006: 1

Hole 13 (Alps)
194 yards, par three:

13th hole: Par 3, 194 yards

Club selection is crucial to hit and hold a long and narrow green that is set at an angle to the tee. A front-right hole location brings a very deep lone bunker into play. Australian journeyman John Senden provided the highlight here in 2006 with a hole-in-one.

Rank in 2006: 9

Hole 14 (Hilbre)
454 yards, par four:

14th hole: Par 4, 454 yards

A very similar hole to the 12th both in looks and difficulty, the 14th was the second hardest hole in 2006. Yet another sharp dogleg left, with four bunkers guarding the elbow on both sides including a new trap on the right. A deep swale on the right of the small green will collect errant approaches. Tiger Woods struck one of the shots of the championship here in the second rouand eight years ago, holing a superb four-iron for an unlikely eagle-two.

Rank in 2006: 2

Hole 15 (Rushes)
161 yards, par three:

15th hole: Par 3, 161 yards

The last of the par-threes is the shortest and statistically the easiest. However, it is difficult to get up and down from any of the five bunkers that guard the narrow green, no matter what the hole location. Richard Sterne enjoyed a hole-in-one here in 2006.

Rank in 2006: 14

Hole 16 (Field)
577 yards, par five:

16th hole: Par 5, 577 yards

The longest hole on the course, but the pros ripped it up in 2006 and recorded 252 birdies and 27 eagles. Avoiding the three bunkers to the left of the fairway gives the green light to go for the green in two, although there are three further traps short and left of the target.

Rank in 2006: 18

Hole 17 (Lake)
458 yards, par four:

17th hole: Par 4, 458 yards

A challenging long par four littered with hazardous bunkers, particularly the well-placed traps that guard the landing area on the fairway. The approach is also one of the toughest on the course, with three further bunkers short of the small green and another to the right of the target.

Rank in 2006: 4

18th (Dun)
551 yards, par five:

18th hole: Par 5, 551 yards

A long closing hole which traditionally scores well, although there are a number of hazards to avoid. A sharp dogleg-right with out-of-bounds all along the right side, but going too far left off the tee leaves a longer approach. The green is heavily guarded by three bunkers short-left and another two on the right, while a new swale has been introduced to the rear. The entire green will be surrounded by a “horseshoe” of stands this year, which will create a superb atmosphere.

Rank in 2006: 15

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