Royal Birkdale's Fearsome Five
Like Augusta, Birkdale's fireworks come after the turn. So we went and asked Alliss BBC analyst and noted architect Peter Alliss, that is for a guided tour of the five back-nine holes that will give players a royal headache
Royal Birkdale is like a stern parent tough, fair, and liable to swat you on the backside. Birkdale's most dramatic, and most dangerous, holes are on the inward nine. While players in the 137th British Open may lament some big numbers, they likely won't be complaining about an unfair layout. "Birkdale is a fair course," says respected architect Peter Alliss, who has co-designed some 75 courses, including the Belfry.
"The fairways are relatively flat, so you don't get a straight drive that catches the side of a hump and bounds away into bunkers or rough. Stances are fairly flat, and there are only a few blind shots from the tee to the green."
The 77-year-old BBC icon competed as an Open contestant and Ryder Cup player at Birkdale, where he also made his broadcast debut in 1961. And now, the esteemed Mr. Alliss breaks down Birkdale's five most fearsome back-nine holes.