Why the 10th fairway is out of bounds at Royal Birkdale in the 2017 British Open Championship
Open Championship

Why the 10th fairway is out of bounds at Royal Birkdale in the 2017 British Open Championship

The 10th fairway at Royal Birkdale Golf Club is going to play out of bounds — at least some of the time — during he 2017 British Open Championship.

You see, the players in the field for this week’s third major of the year has quickly realized that it’s way easier to play the ninth hole, which faces a severe crosswind as a dogleg right, by playing down the 10th fairway. Hitting the tee shot on No. 9 to the fairway on No. 10 leaves a simple shot with a great angle — way better than playing the ninth hole as the way it was intended.

So, the R&A decided to not let their championship be maimed by players competing on holes in a way that would make a mockery of their setup decisions. That means the R&A issued a new local rule before the championship making the 10th fairway in-course out of bounds for players on the ninth hole only. It’s not out of bounds for players competing on any other hole. Just No. 9.

“When playing the ninth hole only, a ball on or beyond the 10th fairway (defined by the edge of the closely-mown area) is out of bounds,” read a notice issued to players.

There will be no out-of-bounds stakes to indicate the rule, but the idea is also designed to protect players and fans on the 10th hole.

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