The 5 toughest holes at Royal Birkdale
|Teeing off at the difficult sixth. Dave Thompson/PA Archive
While the historic Royal Birkdale course isn’t renowned for its toughness, this amazing links course can throw up a few challenges. And if you’re already nervous because you’re teeing off in front of millions of TV viewers with an Open Championship on the line, these holes can become perilous.
We take a look at the 5 hardest holes on this famous course facing the likes of Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.
1. The sixth
Distance: 499 yards
Early on, golfers will have to face one of the hardest holes in Championship golf. This long par 4 is actually a par 5 when played by members. And with the tee moved back, anyone looking to score well here will have to drive at least 280 yards while also avoiding the bunkers that line the fairway – not an easy task. And if you do manage to land it sweetly, you’re still faced with a second shot onto an elevated green that sits at an odd angle. The large green is also protected by more bunkers to the front and surrounded on the other sides by dunes.
2. The first
Distance: 448 yards
As opening shots go, this is a tough one. It’ll sort the wheat from the chaff early on in this competition. While it’s shorter than the tough sixth hole, it’s almost as difficult. It’s all about accuracy on the drive, with the out of bounds area on the right of the fairway worryingly close. The hole doglegs to the left, sometimes hiding the flag and the small green from view. If you manage to stay on course, getting onto the green can also be tough with three bunkers to negotiate.
Stuck in the rough on the first. Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
3. The eleventh