All eyes on Sefton as Royal Birkdale confirmed as 154th Open host

11 July 2023 5min read

Sefton Council is delighted to announce that the borough will play home to thousands of golf lovers when the 154th Open tees off at Royal Birkdale in 2026.

The iconic Southport links has previously hosted golf’s original championship on ten occasions, the last of which was in 2017 when Jordan Spieth emerged victorious in a memorable final round duel with Matt Kuchar to lift the Claret Jug for the first time.

The American joined a celebrated roll of Champion Golfers at Royal Birkdale, including Peter Thomson, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson, Ian Baker-Finch, Mark O’Meara and Padraig Harrington.

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said, "We are delighted that Royal Birkdale and Sefton will once again be the stage for this fantastic global golf Championship.

"Fans from across the world will get the chance to see some golfing legends tee off from the fabulous setting of Royal Birkdale.

“Combining accommodation, food and drink, leisure facilities and transport links, millions of pounds will be spent in the local economy in the run up to and during the Championship which is hugely wonderful news.

"The Open is very much a family event and we are expecting thousands of people of all ages to enjoy the Championship and all the excellent facilities Southport and Sefton have to offer."

Martin Slumbers, CEO of The R&A, said, “Royal Birkdale is a world-class championship venue and its outstanding links will once again provide the world’s best men’s professional golfers with a tough but fair test of their talents and capabilities as they compete for the Claret Jug.

“It has produced many memorable moments that are woven into the story of this historic Championship, including a dramatic final round in 2017 when Jordan Spieth won for the first time.

"We look forward to another special occasion in three years and it will be fascinating to see which player will emerge to join a list of renowned Champion Golfers to have won at Royal Birkdale.”

Andrew Maxwell, Captain of Royal Birkdale and Chairman of the Championship Committee, said, “We are thrilled and honoured to have been chosen as the host venue for The Open in 2026. Royal Birkdale Golf Club has a rich history with The Open having hosted it ten times previously.

“We look forward to welcoming the world's best golfers to our magnificent course and providing them with a true test of links golf. The Club is already working hard to ensure that The Open in 2026 will be an unforgettable event for players, spectators and fans around the globe."

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said, “The Open is one of the sporting world’s crown jewels and to have the opportunity to play host to it not just once - but twice in three years - is an incredible achievement for our area.

"Royal Birkdale’s unveiling as the 2026 host comes as excitement is building for The 151st Open, which is also being held in our region at the fantastic Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, which we’re expecting to attract record crowds.

“It is testament, not only to the quality of our courses, but to the infrastructure we offer and the warm welcome we give to visitors from around the world. Home to countless theatres, museums, art galleries and a thriving night life - we are the UK's cultural capital.

"Our region will continue to roll out the red carpet to golf fans for years to come. When people visit our region, whether it's their first time or not, I can guarantee it won't be their last!"


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