Open Championship rota: Which courses are in the British Open rotation?
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Open Championship rota: Which courses are in the British Open rotation?


The Open Championship rota -- the rotation of courses that host the British Open -- is something that doesn't change too often. The R&A has about nine links courses it will routinely visit for the game's oldest major championship.

We take a look at the current Open Championship rota, future British Open sites and former Open Championship venues that are no longer used.

Current Open Championship rota

  • St. Andrews (Old Course)
  • Carnoustie
  • Muirfield
  • Royal Troon
  • Royal Birkdale
  • Royal Lytham and St. Annes
  • Royal St. George's
  • Royal Liverpool
  • Royal Portrush

Typically speaking, the R&A brings The Open to the Old Course every five years, looking for an opportunity to return to the Home of Golf twice each decade. Then there are eight years in each decade when the other eight coures in the rotation have a chance to host the tournament. It's a pretty even distribution, although the order changes and isn't standardized.

Which course has hosted the British Open the most?

The Old Course has naturally hosted the Open the most number of times, coming in at 30 of 151 -- slightly less than 20 percent of the time. Prestwick and Musselburgh were more frequent hosts in the earlier history of the championship in the 19th century. However, since then, the Claret Jug has been decided elsewhere.

  1. St Andrews: 30
  2. Prestwick: 24
  3. Muirfield: 16
  4. Royal St George's: 15
  5. Royal Liverpool: 12
  6. Royal Lytham & St Annes: 11
  7. Royal Birkdale: 10
  8. Royal Troon: 9
  9. Carnoustie: 8
  10. Musselburgh: 6
  11. Turnberry: 4
  12. Royal Cinque Ports: 2
  13. Royal Portrush: 2
  14. Prince's: 1

Future British Open sites

The R&A typically only announces future Open venues just a few years in advance, knowing that a closed rotation of courses is likely to host the championship in the future. The venues aren't necessarily a mystery so much as in which order they'll be played.

Former Open Championship rotation courses

  • Turnberry -- The R&A has said it has no plans to host the Open Championship at the Donald Trump-owned resort and its Ailsa Course as long as Trump is owner.
  • Prestwick -- The Scottish club hosted the first 12 Open Championship, but it hasn't hosted since 1925
  • Musselburgh -- The six-time host never hosted in the 20th or 21st centuries.
  • Royal Cinque Ports -- The club has hosted twice, back in 1909 and 1920.
  • Prince's -- Hosted just once, when Gene Sarazen won in 1932.

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

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