Golf Course Architecture - Issue 60, April 2020

TEE BOX Martin Ebert has overseen changes to the historic links of Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake, England, in preparation of the venue hosting the Open in 2022. The architect has worked closely with The R&A on five main changes and various other smaller modifications, with the purpose of making the course “an even more attractive test of golf, and a future-friendly Open Championship venue”. The main change is the creation of a new 139-yard par-three seventeenth hole, called ‘Rushes’, with a green located approximately on the same site as the previous fifteenth tee. Players will hit to an elevated green looking out to the Dee Estuary. “The project has been an extremely exciting one overall but the opportunity to create a new hole on a great links such as Hoylake is a rare one,” said Ebert. “The hope and expectation is that not only can a very short hole produce significant drama for the penultimate hole of the Open, but also provide the club with a hole which members and visiting golfers from around the world will be hugely excited to play.” In addition to the new seventeenth hole and extended eighteenth, there are major changes to the fourth, seventh and thirteenth. The front of the fourth green has been raised to produce a flatter landing area, enabling more pinnable positions and reducing a hard kick through the back of the green. The overall size of the green has also been reduced by converting a section of the back right of the green into surround. The seventh green has been moved to the left, allowing a new tee complex for the eighth hole to be built, and the height of hedges will be reduced to make the eighth fairway visible off the tee. At the thirteenth, a new run-off area has been created with the existing hollows on the right-hand side redeveloped. GolfLink Evolve and the Royal Liverpool greenstaff have completed the work in March and the new greens and hole will be open for play at some stage in the early summer of 2020. Ebert oversees changes at Hoylake ahead of 2022 Open Photo: Royal Liverpool Golf Club The new par-three seventeenth (Open numbering) at Hoylake 23