Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club
|Orange (W)||75||5854 yards|
|White M: 72.9/127||206||481||477||391||218||494||589||417||164||3437||385||601||196||357||443||464||358||467||410||3681||7118|
|Blue M: 71.1/119||198||424||457||381||188||494||569||396||156||3263||334||540||187||340||436||455||351||432||393||3468||6731|
|Red M: 68.7/117||174||399||432||371||170||474||539||389||144||3092||320||465||157||324||429||446||343||413||371||3268||6360|
|Yellow W: 73.2/123||169||375||418||357||147||408||512||311||137||2834||307||391||151||275||418||432||333||404||309||3020||5854|
Covered 1979 British Open
Covered the 1979 British Open for The Dallas Morning News at Royal Lytham. Seve Ballesteros, wow. Walked into the press tent and first person I saw was Dan Jenkins. Interview Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite together next to a fence railing while Mark Hayes listened to my accent. Ben -- "I love the British Open." Tom -- "I hate the British Open. It is a cow pasture." Also interviewed the Merry Mex. Witnessed an ace by Jack Nicklaus. There was a roar like no other. Fantastic experience.
Even better than the Open suggested
I watched the 2012 Open on TV and, honestly, didn't remember any of the holes afterward. They all kind of blended in, with the exception of 18, where Adam Scott dug his bunkered grave. We played Lytham on the back-end of a 36-hole day, and by the end of the round I wanted to play more. It was fantastic, from the par-3 opener to the sensational finisher. We played about half the round in a 30-mph wind, adding to the already immense challenge of the course, and it was fun to try and make par. The eighth hole is one of the best I've ever played, with a downhill tee shot setting up a drastically uphill approach, and you're rewarded on the green with one of the best views on the entire course. My experience was enriched, of course, by playing the last three holes par-par-par. Oh, what Adam Scott would have given two years ago. If you get a chance to play here, do it.
Better in person
Having covered the Open Championship at Royal Lytham I didn't appreciate it's nuances until having the opportunity to play it. In a "proper" wind, the layout was equal parts challenging and rewarding.
A beautiful day on a British Open rota track
I covered the 2012 British Open at Royal Lytham and liked the course a lot that week, but didn't love it. That quickly changed. Now, I absolutely love the place.
This day was totally sunny, but the wind was blowing at least 30 mph the whole time, conditions we don't often get in the U.S. Still, it was fun to hit a wedge 160 yards downwind on one hole, then hit a driver only 180 into the wind on the next. And the bunkers, well...you'll see for yourself.
The course, drenched with history, was in fantastic shape and looked like it could host an Open on a days notice. I've been fortunate to play several courses on the British Open rota, and this one has now quickly moved up the list among my favorites.