Heritage Of The Royal Birkdale Golf Club

The British Open makes a return to Lancashire’s Royal Birkdale Golf Club for the ninth time in 2008. Peter Thomson won the first and last of his five Open Championship titles here, while the heritage of this famous course was enhanced by Arnold Palmer’s victory in 1961, which marked a major turning point for golf’s oldest championship.
According to Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of the R&A, “Royal Birkdale has endeared itself to all of the world’s top golfers, and we must remember that with his win there in 1961, Arnold Palmer is rightly credited with starting the renaissance of the Open Championship. We are delighted to be returning in 2008.”
David Hill, the R&A’s Director of Championships, believes that Royal Birkdale is a venue that provides a very stern test of the abilities of any golfer, as well as boasting a first-class infrastructure capable of coping with large numbers of spectators.
Almost 200 000 people watched Mark O’Meara win the British Open the last time it was played at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in 1998. Now the knowledgeable golfing public in Lancashire and the surrounding areas will again be able to watch the battle between 156 of the world’s leading players.
The Royal Birkdale Golf Club was founded in 1889 and eight years later, in 1897, it moved to its present home at Birkdale Hills.
Much of the layout of the present-day course was modelled on a design by Hawtree & JH Taylor Ltd in the 1920s. The clubhouse was constructed in 1935 on a raised area of ground behind the 18th green and was extended for the 1965 British Open. At the same time, a new par-three12th hole was built into the immense dunes and the closing holes underwent major alterations.
Every time the British Open returns to Royal Birkdale Golf Club, the rich heritage of one of the world’s top golf courses is enhanced. 2008 promises to add another thrilling chapter to Royal Birkdale’s Open Championship story.

Previous winners at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club:

  • 1954 – Peter Thomson
  • 1961 – Arnold Palmer
  • 1965 – Peter Thomson
  • 1971 – Lee Trevino
  • 1976 – Johnny Miller
  • 1983 – Tom Watson
  • 1991 – Ian Baker-Finch
  • 1998 – Mark O’Meara

William Hill has the best people to turn to if you are looking for betting information in the build-up to the 2008 British Open.