The 146th Open Championship is being played this weekend at Royal Birkdale, in Southport, England. This year will mark the tenth time that Royal Birkdale has hosted the Championship, most recently in 2008.
Royal Birkdale is a links style course which features fairways that are flat, hard, and narrow. To navigate this course, players will need to hit straight tee shots in order to keep their ball in play.
What makes the course even more challenging are the huge sand dunes that each of the holes are built around. Tee shots that miss the fairway will end up either in the dunes or the long fescue. When the winds pick up, many of the competitors will choose to hit long irons or fairway woods from many of the tees. The course will favour those that drive the ball straight over those that drive the ball long!
Last year, the Open Championship was played at Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. It featured what was called the Duel at Troon, between Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson. The two broke away from the field and battled it out during the entire final round. Stenson shot a final round 63, a record 20 under par and defeated Michelson by three strokes.
The Open Championship is fun to watch because, like Wimbleton which was played last week, the rounds are televised early in the morning. This means that if you enjoy golf you can watch the tournament with your morning coffee, have breakfast, and still be able to squeeze in a round before dinner.
Dustin Johnson, ranked number one in the world, is the odds on favorite to win the Claret Jug. Jon Rahm, Jordan Speith, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, and Sergio Garcia are also considered favourites to win this year’s Open Championship.
Hideki Matsuyama and Tommy Fleetwood are also two players who are expected to be on top of the leader board come the final round this weekend.
So sit back and enjoy the third major of the 2017 season and don’t forget to make that midday tee time, so that you can be back at home in time for dinner!
Next Week: Bad Habits in Golf