Which golf courses have hosted The Open Championship, the year’s final men’s Major?
Today’s Golfer’s 2021 Major coverage is brought to you in association with TaylorMade.
The Open Championship has been hosted by 14 courses across its 149 tournaments.
It is the oldest golf tournament in the world having been founded in 1860 and was originally held at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland. Since 2019 it has been the final men’s Major of the year, played in the third week of July.
Known as The Open and sometimes the British Open by American fans, it is the only one of the four men’s Major Championships to be played outside of the United States of America, with the tournament moving between a select number of links golf courses in Great Britain and Ireland chosen by The R&A.
The 149th event was played at Royal St George’s Golf Club from July 15-18 with Collin Morikawa winning the Claret Jug on his debut in the event. The Kent links is the southernmost of the courses on The Open ‘rota’ and 2021’s tournament was it 15th time as host.
RELATED: Royal St George’s course guide
But which country and course has hosted The Open the most times?
Click the course name to read our review
Scotland’s Open golf courses
The Open Championship has been played in Scotland on 96 occasions.
The Old Course at St Andrews (Hosted 29 Opens): 1873, 1876, 1879, 1882, 1885, 1888, 1891, 1895, 1900, 1905, 1910, 1921, 1927, 1933, 1939, 1946, 1955, 1957, 1960, 1964, 1970, 1978, 1984, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015.
Prestwick (24): 1860, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1872, 1875, 1878, 1881, 1884, 1887, 1890, 1893, 1898, 1903, 1908, 1914, 1925
Muirfield (16): 1892, 1896, 1901, 1906, 1912, 1929, 1935, 1948, 1959, 1966, 1972, 1980, 1987, 1992, 2002, 2013
Royal Troon (Championship) (9): 1923, 1950, 1962, 1973, 1982, 1989, 1997, 2004, 2016
Carnoustie (8): 1931, 1937, 1953, 1968, 1975, 1999, 2007, 2018
Musselburgh (6): 1874, 1877, 1880, 1883, 1886, 1889
Turnberry (4): 1977, 1986, 1994, 2009
England’s Open golf courses
The Open has been held in England on 51 occasions.
Royal St George’s (15): 1894, 1899, 1904, 1911, 1922, 1928, 1934, 1938, 1949, 1981, 1985, 1993, 2003, 2011, 2021
Royal Liverpool (12): 1897, 1902, 1907, 1913, 1924, 1930, 1936, 1947, 1956, 1967, 2006, 2014
Royal Lytham & St Annes (11): 1926, 1952, 1958, 1963, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1988, 1996, 2001, 2012
Royal Birkdale (10): 1954, 1961, 1965, 1971, 1976, 1983, 1991, 1998, 2008, 2017
Royal Cinque Ports (2): 1909,1920
Prince’s (1): 1932
The Open has been held in Ireland on two occassions.
Royal Portrush (Dunluce) (2): 1951, 2019
Which golf courses will host The Open Championship in the future?
The Old Course at St Andrews will be the venue for the 150th Open in 2022, seven years after it hosted Zach Johnson’s play-off victory.
Royal Liverpool Golf Club (Hoylake) hosts in 2023, the first time it has welcomed the tournament since Rory McIlroy’s win in 2014.
Royal Troon Golf Club, the northernmost of all of The Open’s host courses, will welcome the event again in 2023. Its last hosting in 2016 produced one of the greatest final rounds in the tournament’s long history. Henrik Stenson carded a then joint record eight-under-par 63 to win by three shots from Phil Mickelson.
Stenson birdied four of his final five holes to win his first major with an Open Championship record score of 20-under par. Mickelson had an eagle and four birdies in a 65.
Royal Portrush had to wait 68 years to host its second Open, but it’ll be a far shorted gap before the Claret Jug returns this time with the R&A confirming the tournament will be played there in 2025, just six years after Shane Lowry’s superb victory.
It’s not real surprise after the course and country received an outpouring of positive feedback from players, fans, media and broadcasters.
Why hasn’t Turnberry hosted The Open since 2009?
Good question. Turnberry has effectively been dropped from The Open rota but it certainly isn’t down to the quality of the course and appears to be more about the name above the door. R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers stopped short of saying as much when confirming that the Major wouldn’t be returning to Donald Trump’s Ayrshire course “in the forseeable future” but made it clear that the tournament must always be the main points of focus at any host venues.
“We will not return until we are convinced that the focus will be on the championship, the players and the course itself,” Slumbers said. “We do not believe that is achievable in the current circumstances.”
Turnberry hasn’t hosted an Open since 2009, when Stewart Cink famously defeated Tom Watson in a play-off. Trump has owned the venue since 2014, employing renowned architect Martin Ebert to make substantial improvements to the Ailsa course which catapulted it back to the top spot in the Golf World Top 100 Courses in Scotland ranking and ?? in our Top 100 Courses in Great Britain and Ireland.
The Women’s Open was held at Turnberry in 2015, but the event was overshadowed by the presence of the then-presidential hopeful.
RELATED: We review Turnberry’s Ailsa course
Will a Welsh golf course ever host The Open?
Despite successfully hosting a Ryder Cup and many European Tour events, The Open Championship has never been held in Wales. If it was to host the Major then Royal Porthcawl, our No.1 course in the Principality, would be the obvious choice of venue. Not only does it have the quality but it has proved a very successful host of the Senior Open the Amateur Championship. It was a firm favourite among our Twitter followers when we asked which courses should be added to The Open rota, along with England’s Saunton and Northern Ireland’s Royal County Down.
However, we don’t expect the Claret Jug to be heading across the Severn Bridge anytime soon. The R&A have previously said they did not have “any intention” to take The Open to Wales, adding: “We are happy with the 10 courses on the rota and have no plans to make any changes.”
Royal Porthcawl would certainly need expansion and lengthening if it were to host The Open with up to 200,000 fans attending the event, more than four times the number of people at the Senior Open, while the course currently comes in at just over 7,000 yards and would need to be stretched by to beyond 7,200.
The local area would also need some work to ensure the infrastructure is in place to cope with the traffic and visitors that come with an Open Championship.