Muirfield, which most recently, in 2002, hosted The Open Championship, will be the venue for the British Mid-Amateur Championship from 10 to 14 August. Although this will be the first time the Mid-Amateur has been played at the East Lothian links, R&A events have taken place there since The Open Championship of 1892, with the Amateur Championship first being played there in 1897. It hosted the Amateur in 1998 when Sergio Garcia capped a glorious amateur career with a win over Welshman, Craig Williams.
Royal Birkdale is yet another current Open venue hosting an amateur event, on this occasion, the Amateur Championship from 30 May to 4 June. Only two Amateur Championships have been played at Birkdale. The first, in 1946, was won by the irrepressible Jimmy Bruen but it was a further 43 years before it was next played there, in 1989, when Stephen Dodd defeated Craig Cassells.
Southport & Ainsdale is regularly used as one of the Final Qualifying courses when The Open is played at Birkdale and will jointly host the 36-hole qualifying for the Amateur Championship.
Both the Boys Amateur Championship and the Boys Home Internationals will be played in the East of England.
Woodhall Spa, acquired by the English Golf Union in 1995, hosts the Boys Home Internationals, adding to a comprehensive list of championships that have been played over the Hotchkin Course. This course, which now extends to over 7,000 yards, was originally laid out in the early 1900’s but has remained largely unchanged since its redesign by Col S. V. Hotchkin in the early 1920‘s. R&A events played there include the 1996 Jacques Leglise Trophy, the 1979 British Youths Championship and, in 2002, the Seniors Open Amateur Championship.
Following the Boys Internationals, competitors head east to the Norfolk coast and to Hunstanton for the Boys Amateur Championship. This traditional East Anglian links hosted the Boys Championship and Boys Home Internationals in 1990, when English player, Michael Welch, lifted the title.
In August, the Seniors Open Amateur Championship will be played at Woburn over the Duke’s and Duchess Courses. While this will be the first R&A Championship to be played there, the testing Buckinghamshire layouts can claim to have hosted golf at the highest level. Woburn has been a favourite venue for the British Masters, which has been played there no fewer than 16 times, most recently in 2002 when Justin Rose lifted the title. In addition, the Weetabix Women’s British Open resided at Woburn from 1990 to 1996 and made a welcome return in 1999.
Royal Porthcawl, the venue for the 1995 Walker Cup and, in 2002, for the Amateur Championship, hosts the Jacques Leglise Trophy match at the end of August when the boys of GB&I will be defending their title against the Continent of Europe.
Also in the month of August, the Walker Cup match will be played at The Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton, Illinois, U.S. on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 when GB&I will be attempting to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive win and their fifth victory in six contests.
2005 R&A amateur venues & dates
- Amateur Championship, Royal Birkdale, Southport & Ainsdale, 30 May – 4 June
- Boys Home Internationals, Woodhall Spa, Hotchkin Course, 2 – 4 August
- Seniors Open Amateur Championship, Woburn, Dukes & Duchess Courses, 3 – 5 August
- Boys Amateur Championship, Hunstanton, 8 – 13 August
- British Mid-Amateur Championship, Muirfield, 10 – 14 August
- Walker Cup, Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton, Illinois, U.S. 13 -14 August
- Jacques Leglise Trophy, Royal Porthcawl, 26 – 27 August