It's Open Season: Now is the time to play an Open venue for far less than summer
Always wanted to play an Open venue courses? With many Winter green fee deals lasting until the end of February or end of March, now is definitely the time to play some past and present courses.
We've rounded up the best offers from 10 famous Open venues across the country you should think about playing.
St Andrews | The Old Course | Fife
Open history: The Old Course has hosted the most championships with 29 in total, most recently in 2015 when American Zach Johnson triumphed.
Why you should do it: It's the history, it's the most famous course in the world and it's the Home of Golf. No matter how many times you've played the Old Course, standing on the first tee in front of the R&A clubhouse makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Every time. Also, not only are you virtually guaranteed a round on the hallowed turf – it's literally a lottery in the summer – you'll be experiencing the Old Course for half-price even though winter tees and fairway mats may be in use.
The deal: £88 till March 31.
Contact: 01334 466718 | www.standrews.com
Carnoustie | Angus
Open history: Set to stage its eighth Open in 2018, having hosted its last in 2007 (Padraig Harrington).
Why you should do it: This is arguably the most demanding of all the Open rota courses with the last three holes, starting with the 250-yard par-3 16th, fraught with danger. Expect to play the full course depending on weather conditions though you'll be hitting o mats on the fairways.
The deal: 50% off the normal £175 green fee until March 31st.
Contact: 01241 802270 | www.carnoustiegolflinks.co.uk
Royal St Georges | Kent
Open history: Has held 14 Opens since 1894 and will host number 15 in 2020.
Why you should do it: It guarantees a memorable and classic links test and is steeped in history. It's already preparing to stage the 149th Open in three years. It's right up there among England's premier courses and boasts a magical set of short holes. The 6th, superbly guarded by bunkers, is our pick.
The deal: £100 Dec-Feb.
Contact: 01304 613090 | www.royalstgeorges.com
Princes | Kent
Open history: Had its one and only moment in the Open limelight in 1932, when Gene Sarazen won.
Why you should do it: It's in top condition and playable year-round. There's 27 holes of quality links golf (Dunes, Shore & Himalayas nines) with leading architects Mackenzie & Ebert currently carrying out significant improvements to the latter.
The deal: Until Mar 31 - £50 Mon-Thurs, £60 Fri-Sun and includes one-course golfers' lunch.
Contact: 01304 611118 | www.princesgolfclub.co.uk
Royal Lytham & St Annes | Lancashire
Open history: The scene of 11 Opens since 1926.
Why you should do it: Firstly, it's a true top links and will test you from the opening tee shot, unusually a par 3. It's not the prettiest Open host, but it is pretty demanding with a really tricky final five holes and 206 bunkers guarding the fairways and greens. On-site dormy house is worth a stay.
The deal: Until Feb 28 - £133 weekday & Sunday, includes a superb lunch.
Contact: 01253 724206 | www.royallytham.org
Royal Liverpool | Mersyside
Open history: Has staged 12 Opens, last in 2014.
Why you should do it: Hoylake, as it is better known, is fairly at apart from gently rolling and subtle bumps and slopes. Like Lytham, it's not eye-catching but this is a gem of a course that only unveils its full character once you are underway. Beware of the fast but fairly at greens and you'll adore the stunning par-3 13th right on the Dee Estuary.
The deal: Until Feb 28 - £90.
Contact: 0151 632 3101 | www.royal-liverpool-golf.com
Musselburgh Old Links | East Lothian
Open history: Held six Opens from 1874-1889.
Why you should do it: It's officially recognised as the oldest course in the world - a game took place here in 1672! The nine-hole layout is plotted within the town's racecourse and is a fascinating step back in time especially if you tee it up with original hickory clubs which can be hired on site for £38 per set.
The deal: Until Mar 31 - £14.70 midweek, £15.70 weekends.
Contact: 0131 653 5122 | www.musselburgholdlinks
Prestwick | Ayrshire
Open history: This is where the Open started with Prestwick staging 24 from 1860-1925.
Why you should do it: Old Tom Morris, the club's first greenkeeper, laid out the original 12-hole course and six of his original greens are still in use today. It's a step back in time, an unforgettable experience, while a guided tour of the club's unique array of golfing memorabilia is recommended.
The deal: Nov-Mar - £95 a round or £115 per day.
Contact: 01292 477404 | www.prestwickgc.co.uk
Royal Cinque Ports | Kent
Open history: Hosted the 1909 and 1920 Opens.
Why you should do it: Wonderful old out-and-back links overlooked by an equally wonderful clubhouse. Cinque Ports possesses a fine collection of par 3s played in various directions, all of different yardages and all presenting their own difficulties. The demanding last five holes usually play into the wind, but even on a calm day it's a stern test.
The deal: Until Feb 28 - £80 midweek, £115 w/e.
Contact: 01304 374007 | www.royalcinqueports.com
Muirfield | East Lothian
Open history: It's hosted 16 Opens.
Why you should do it: Not so long ago visiting golfers were rarely spotted in these parts. Thankfully now they're welcomed with open arms. Muir eld provides an unforgettable experience on and off the course – the legendary lunch is special, too, as is the immaculate course conditioning and combination of holes with no holes being the same.
The deal: £110 until Mar 15.
Contact: 01620 842123 | www.muirfield.org.uk