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Course Insight


Lancashire, UK The Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club was founded in 1886 and the present course constructed in 1897. The original layout of Royal Lytham & St. Annes was created by the club’s first professional, George Lowe. The only significant changes were made in 1919 when Harry Colt, the pre-eminent course designer of his time, made requested improvements. The course is universally recognized as one of the world’s greatest links courses and as such it has a long and distinguished championship history as the site of 10 British Opens prior to this year’s competition. It has also hosted two Ryder Cups (1961 and 1977, with the United States winning both) and numerous other significant competitions, including British Senior Opens and British Women’s Opens. Its list of champions contains many of the game’s greatest: Bobby Jones (1926), Bobby Locke (1952), Peter Thomson (1958), Bob Charles (1963), Tony Jacklin (1969), Gary Player (1974), Seve Ballesteros (1979 and 1988), Tom Lehman (1996) and David Duval (2001). Among the most celebrated shots played in the British Opens here were Bobby Jones’ brilliant recovery from a sandy scrub area on No. 17 to avoid an almost-certain loss to Al Watrous. Instead, his recovery broke Watrous’ spirit and Jones was able to go on to win his first British Open. A plaque commemorates his masterstroke. The mashie-iron Jones used is on display in the clubhouse, just below a painting of the great man.


Tournament Record 267, Greg Norman, 1993 (Royal St. Georges)


Tournament 18-Hole Record 63, Mark Hayes, 1977 (Turnberry), Isao Aoki, 1980 (Muirfield), Greg Norman, 1986 (Turnberry), Paul Broadhurst, 1990 (St. Andrews), Jodie Mudd, 1991 (Birkdale), Nick Faldo, 1993 (Royal St. George’s), Payne Stewart, 1993 (Royal St. George’s), Rory McIlroy, 2010 (St. Andrews)


18 PAR 4 410 YARDS www.pgatour.com


This is one of the game’s classic finishing holes. The landing area is flanked by bunkers and there are also cross-bunkers in the fairway. A daring drive leaves an advantageous approach angle into a demanding green.


Royal Lytham & St. Annes,


16 PAR 4 358 YARDS 17 PAR 4 467 YARDS


The player faces a blind tee shot but it must be accurately placed to offer the safest route to the putting surface. Of course, this isn’t always the case: in 1979, Seve Ballesteros drove into a parking lot, played a remarkable recovery, made a birdie and went on to win his first British Open.


The landing area from the tee is extremely small and sits between a series of bunkers on the left and thick scrub and bushes to the right. The hole turns left towards a green protected by bunkers on both sides.


PGA TOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE 2012 153


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