Royal Liverpool’s closest neighbor is this vastly underrated Old Tom Morris design, whose principal claim to fame is as the home club for Dr. Frank Stableford, inventor of the scoring system that bears his name. Tall fuzzy sandhills and glimpses of the Irish Sea characterize the first five holes, notably on the tee of the 531-yard, par-5 4th. An excellent quartet of closing holes is spearheaded by the 227-yard, par-3 16th, its elevated green defended by a massive dune to the right and a steep fall-off to the left. $64-$129
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3. Southport and Ainsdale -- England (1933, 1937) Some might nominate the 1957 site, Lindrick, for this spot, which was a short, inland, parkland course twice crossed by roads. It was picked on the strength of one quality, according to David Feherty, "a rich benefactor." Yet, S&A, as the locals call it, wallows in its own sort of mediocrity. It boasts dunes, but they aren't all that dramatic, and the one celebrated hole, the par-5 16th, was once dismissed by Tom Doak as "a letdown, like the rest of the course."
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The 21-year-old's swing was as flexible and strong as the Tour had yet seen.
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LYTHAM ST ANNES, ENGLAND - JULY 25: The 410 yards par 4, 18th hole at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club the venue for the 2012 Open Championship on July 25, 2011 in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, England. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
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The record score of 18 under has been matched only by Jordan Spieth in 2015.
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FORMBY, ENGLAND - JULY 21: General View of the Clubhouse during the PGA National Pro-Am North Qualifier at Formby Golf Club on July 21, 2016 in Formby, England. (Photo by Richard Martin-Roberts/Getty Images)
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West Lancs, as the locals refer to it, dates to 1873, making it a pioneer on the Lancashire coast. Fred Hawtree and Ken Cotton substantially revised the layout in 1962, carving out nine new holes on prime linksland on the seaward side of the railway between Southport and Liverpool. If the terrain is flattish, at least the tall sandhills and fescue roughs lend character, as do the Irish Sea vistas on the first four holes. $97-$161
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BIRKDALE, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 01: A view from behind the green on the par 4, 11th hole at Hillside Golf Club on August 1, 2009 in Birkdale, England. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)