Sport Golf

Tuesday 23 January 2018

CHAMPIONSHIP TEST: Hole-by-hole guide

1st 205yds, Par 3

Only course on the Open rota to start with a short hole. Seven bunkers, four left and three right, lie in wait, while trees down the left have been cleared to make the hole more open to wind. Lanny Wadkins aced it in 1988.

2nd 481yds, Par 4

With a new tee, the hole plays 43 yards longer and the carry over the cluster of bunkers on the right is now 265 yards. Small dunes have been added left of the fairway to toughen the drive even more.

3rd 478yds, Par 4

Twenty yards longer and two bunkers down the right have been moved to make driving a stiffer test. More new dunes in the left rough have tightened things up.

4th 392yds, Par 4

Turning back towards the clubhouse for this dogleg left, where a bunker has been added on the right. The green entrance has been altered to allow for some harder pin placings at the front.

5th 219yds, Par 3

Defending champion Jack Nicklaus holed-in-one here in 1979. The tee has been moved back seven yards. Four bunkers left of the green and two right, one of which has had its approach lowered.

6th 492yds, Par 4

Two yards shorter than in 2001, but now a par four. Two fairway bunkers introduced down the right and the left-hand rough, previously flat, has been re-contoured. Jeff Maggert made an albatross two in 2001.

7th 592yds, Par 5

Now 35 yards longer, with a new green further back and further left. Fairway bunkering altered and new dunes left of the putting surface. Seve Ballesteros and Nick Price both made eagles during their final-round duel in 1988.

8th 416yds, Par 4

New bunker on the right, but the elevated green beyond the three cross-bunkers remains the main feature of the last of five holes played alongside the railway line.

9th 165yds, Par 3

Easily the shortest of the par threes at Royal Lytham and St Annes, but a beauty with nine bunkers covering the front, left and right and rough behind. Paul McGinley led the 1996 Open after holing-in-one here in his second round to complete a front-nine 29.

10th 387yds, Par 4

The start of the inward half has been lengthened considerably. There are an added 52 yards and, with a new bunker either side of the fairway, the drive is much more testing.

11th, 598yds, Par 5

Second and last par five has been extended by 56 yards with a new tee set in the dunes. That led to a change in bunkering, with a 285-yard carry now required to bring the green into range. Greg Owen made an albatross two in 2001.

12th, 198 yds, Par 3

Left unaltered like the ninth. Six bunkers around the green and difficulty of the hole dictated by the wind and firmness of the ground. Catriona Matthew had an ace here in winning the British Women's Open in 2009 -- after an eagle on 11.

13th, 355 yds, Par 4

Thirteen yards longer this time with a new back tee. Dogleg right with five bunkers on the inside of the angle, two more that narrow the fairway further down and three more on each side of the narrow green.

14th, 444 yds, Par 4

Additional bunker down the left makes the drive more challenging and if landing an approach short of the green, a new swale between the two bunkers has to be taken into account.

15th, 462 yds, Par 4

A strong par four which is a slight dogleg right around three bunkers. Three more dominate the approach to the green. Becomes a real brute when played into a stiff wind.

16th, 336 yds, Par 4

Made famous by the Seve Ballesteros drive in 1979 which finished under a car in the television compound. He played it as a dogleg left, but the conventional route is a dogleg right. More bunkers to contend with now and dunes down the right.

17th, 453 yds, Par 4

A sharp dogleg left which includes the plaque to honour a shot by Bobby Jones in 1926. Approach played over a rough area where one of the bunkers has been filled in, while another closer to the green has been lowered.

18th, 413 yds, Par 4

Not long for a closing par four, but the bunkering poses a real challenge. Two sets of three are set diagonally, while the green is protected by more bunkers. One of them has been brought in to test the second shot more.

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