With 2025 the next available slot in the rota, we discuss where we’d like to see the Claret Jug headed for the 153rd Open Championship
The pandemic has made quite the mess of the Open Championship schedule. Royal St George’s was meant to play host this year, but the event was postponed by 12 months. That means the 150th edition will still be in St Andrews but now a year later than planned in 2022.
Royal Liverpool originally had the 2022 slot and Royal Troon was meant to host in 2023 – 100 years after its first Open – but it is still being decided if Liverpool and Troon will just shunt back a year or if Liverpool will leapfrog and take 2024 to allow Troon its centenary.
But what about 2025? The Old Course has hosted every year ending in 0 or 5 since 1990, so will that return in 2025 or will they change that format? Now you see what we mean about a mess.
So if not St Andrews, where would you like to see the 2025 Open played? Here’s what two of our writers had to say…
‘The Ailsa has reached new heights since it last hosted the Open’
It’s hard to believe that over 11 years have passed since an Open we will never forget – when the then 58-year-old Tom Watson came so close to rewriting the record books and claiming a sixth Claret Jug, writes Dan Murphy.
Watson’s links masterclass, painted on the most glorious canvas imaginable, was this close to becoming one of the greatest sporting stories ever told.
As an aside, it is also a curiosity that Stewart Cink, who defeated Watson in the play-off, has not won a professional tournament since.
Turnberry was of course the venue back in 2009 and it once again rose to the occasion – just like it always seems to.
It may only have been the fourth time the Ayrshire venue has hosted the Open but there can be little doubt it is one of the championship’s iconic venues.
First, in 1977, came the Duel in the Sun, with Watson and Jack Nicklaus going head to head. Then there was Greg Norman’s maiden major in 1986, before Nick Price finally clasped the Claret Jug in both hands, as he put it himself, in 1994 following near misses at Troon in ’83 and Lytham in ’88.
Since then, the resort has become Trump Turnberry and, thanks to Martin Ebert’s work, the Ailsa has reached new heights.
Those famous aerial views of the lighthouse and Ailsa Craig are now available to the golfers as well as the viewers on TV for pretty much the entirety of the front nine.
The game’s most historic championship is certainly overdue a return to Trump Turnberry.
‘It’s time to go back to one of the finest on the rota’
There is something about the England’s Golf Coast in and around Liverpool that makes the Open so special, writes Alex Perry.
Not only is it one of my favourite parts of the country – particularly to golf – it is also where so many of my favourite Open memories are stored, from a tearful Tiger Woods at Hoylake to that ridiculous Jordan Spieth finish at Birkdale.
But I’m going to go a few miles further north and get my vote in for Royal Lytham & St Annes.
Has there ever been a bad Open at Lytham?
Just look at the list of Champion Golfers of the Year there: Bobbys Jones and Locke, Peter Thomson, Tony Jacklin, Gary Player, Ernie Els. And, of course, Seve Ballesteros won two of his three Opens on the Lancashire coast – my dad still talks about that Sunday 65 in ’88 to this day. And I haven’t even got to Georgia Hall’s incredible Women’s British Open win yet.
It’s one of the finest courses in Britain and one of best of the Open rota. That par-3 opener! Those bunkers! The railway line! Such intensity, such drama.
And thankfully you’re only a few miles from Blackpool to recover.
Come on R&A, take us back to the tower.
Do you agree that Trump Turnberry or Royal Lytham are next in line? Or would you take the Open somewhere else in 2025? Let us know in the comments below, or you can tweet us.