Power Ranking the Sites in the Current British Open Rotation

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Power Ranking the Sites in the Current British Open Rotation
David Cannon/Getty Images
St. Andrews, the Home of Golf.

When we think of the British Open, we think of coastal links courses beset by incessant wind and rain.

We also think about the history of the game, as these are the courses of origin for the sport of golf and anything that came after them are merely an interpretation of how the game was supposed to be played.

Take Muirfield, where the Open Championship will be played July 18–21. It was designed to be played by The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, one of the trio of clubs which ran The Open in the 1870s and 1880s. It first staged The Championship in 1892, just nine months after it had been built.

The Open is now rotated annually over nine courses spread throughout England and Scotland. While it may seem that one Open venue is just like the other, there are peculiarities that differentiate them, turning them into exasperating tests of skill, guile and persistence.

What follows is a power ranking based on a combination of difficulty, tradition and fame.


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