A slow start at any PGA Tour event can be detrimental for a golfer’s chances at winning and even making the cut. At the 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, a slow start is a death sentence.
Royal Lytham & St. Annes is designed so that if you misplay a shot by just the smartest margin—or don’t read the wind correctly—you’re ball will be buried in a bunker. There are a total of 206 bunkers over the 18 holes to be played throughout the weekend.
As former golf writer Bernard Darwin is quoted saying on the course’s official website, “Hit your ball to the right place and the way to the hole is open to you, but hit your ball to the wrong place and every kind of punishment, whether immediate or ultimate, will ensue.”
Those who will compete this weekend must take detailed notes during their practice rounds, especially if it’s their first time playing at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. There are no second chances come early Thursday morning—for those of us on the East Coast.
Phil Mickelson is one player who has had varied success at The Open Championship as well as at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. He and four other golfers competing this weekend will need to get off to hot starts and here’s why.