The Royal and Ancient Golf Club has announced that Royal Liverpool Golf Club will host the 2006 Open Championship from 20th to 23rd July.
The Open was last played at Hoylake in 1967 when Roberto de Vicenzo of Argentina won his first and only major title.
In the years since that historic championship the demands of the Open in terms of infrastructure, space and traffic management ruled Royal Liverpool out as an Open venue. Now, however, with plans in place as a result of the three-way agreement signed by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, Royal Liverpool Golf Club and the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, the Open will make a welcome and long-overdue return after a break of 39 years.
The agreement covers areas of mutual responsibility and obligation and sets out the major criteria of accessibility, travel, accommodation, traffic, car parking, spectator access and infrastructure. One essential catalyst in the return to Wirral was the purchase by the club of 10 acres of land adjacent to the course plus the commitment to build a new practice ground close to Meols Drive on the municipal course owned by Wirral Council.
Peter Dawson, Secretary of the R&A said, “Royal Liverpool is a club with a long and distinguished history and we are delighted that we are now able to bring the Open back to this wonderful course at Hoylake.
“Many people have contributed to the agreements that underpin today’s announcement and it is right that Royal Liverpool, which is justly regarded as one of Britain’s outstanding links, will again be put to the test by the world’s top golfers.
I thank all concerned for their efforts and anticipate an outstanding championship at Hoylake in four years time.”
The Captain of Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Joe Pinnington, stated, “We are delighted that the greatest golfing event in the world is to come back to Hoylake. I know that our Members as well as the local people of Hoylake, West Kirby and Wirral will be proud to give a very warm welcome to the great golfers of the world, the media and the golfing public in 2006.”
Steve Foulkes, Leader of Wirral Council said, “This news simply couldn’t be better and everyone is absolutely delighted. Work has already started, with the R&A and the club itself, to ensure that the 2006 Open is the first of many successful returns of the Open Championship to Wirral.”
Royal Liverpool Golf Club has a long and distinguished history. It was founded in 1869 and has hosted the Open no fewer than ten times. The players who have won the Open at Hoylake are ten of golf’s best known names from the past and include Bobby Jones who, as an amateur in 1930 won the Grand Slam – the Open and Amateur Championships of both Great Britain and the United States.
Royal Liverpool Golf Club www.royal-liverpool-golf.com
Open Championship www.opengolf.com
Royal Liverpool Open Championship winners
1897 Harold Hilton(a) 314
1902 Alex Herd 307
1907 Arnaud Massy 312
1913 J H Taylor 304
1924 Walter Hagen 301
1930 Bobby Jones (a) 291
1936 Alf Padgham ; 287
1947 Fred Daly 293
1956 Peter Thomson 286
1967 Roberto de Vicenzo 278