If they Hold It, Will they Come?
"If they hold it, will they come" was probably said many times by the British Open committee responsible for picking Royal Liverpool as the site for the 2006 Open.
Liverpool, the city, certainly lacks the charm and universal golf appeal of venues such as St. Andrews, Turnberry, Royal Troon or Carnoustie (all in
There must be a reason why Royal Liverpool, though among the Rota of Open courses, has not held a British Open event in 39 years? Is it the area's slow and painful move from a heavy manufacturing economy to an economy based on high tech and service industries? Perhaps it's due to its large pool of blue collar workers struggling to adjust? Or, maybe it has something to do with the Beatles,
The first thing I discovered is that Royal Liverpool is not in
Things are different out on the Wirral. It serves as both a bedroom community for the Liverputians working in the city and as a quaint retreat from the hardness of the city with beaches, open space and some great golf. Here is what I found and what you can play.
Royal Liverpool, opened in 1869, is the second oldest seaside course in
After Royal Liverpool, a round at Wallasey Golf Club is a must. Like Royal Liverpool, it has plenty of history and a welcoming attitude to visitors. This Tom Morris designed course was built in 1891 runs to 6572 yards with a par of 72 and serves as a qualifying course for Open Championships at Royal Liverpool. Aside from the massive painting of Bobby Jones (an honorary member) in the club house (an exact replica graces Augusta National Golf Club site of The Masters), Wallasey is the home club of the inventor of the Stableford Scoring System, Dr. Frank Stableford. The first Stapleford tournament was held here in 1932. Wallasey welcomes non members all week. Green fees are $125 weekday and $150 weekend.
The third course on the Wirral that you should play is the Caldy Golf Club. Situated on the estuary of the River Dee, Caldy provides a wonderful blend of seaside and parkland golf. The course length is 6601 yards and has a par of 72. Caldy has hosted many important tournaments and served as a qualifying course for others. Green fees run $125 and visitors are welcome on most days. Find a member to play with and your green fee drops to about $26.
Finally, if a parkland course with a great view is of interest, I suggest you play Heswall Golf Club as part of your tour. Founded in 1902, the course has plenty of trees and wildlife and its location along the River Dee marshes contribute to a wonderful experience. Jack Morris, nephew of Old Tom Morris of
Whether of the loyal golf crowd will come in droves to the 2006 Open Championship is still uncertain. I know I won't be there. I would rather play than be part of hordes of fans crowding the few open spaces to get a glimpse of their favorite pro. But, when the Open finally ends, I'll gladly return to the area and indulge in some great golf. You should too! By the way,