Title: New 17th Hole at Royal Liverpool Golf Club Raises Challenges and Controversies at the 151st British Open
At this year’s 151st British Open, there is an unexpected twist awaiting golfers on the Royal Liverpool Golf Club course that could potentially determine the outcome of the championship. A new hole, the 136-yard, par-3 17th, has replaced the previous par-3 15th hole from the 2014 Open at Hoylake.
Not only does the new hole play in the opposite direction, but it is also substantially shorter by 25 yards. However, it is the design features and potential pitfalls on this hole that have captured the attention and sparked debates among players and spectators alike.
The 17th hole features a smaller, raised green, surrounded by deep bunkers and treacherous fall-off areas. A miscalculated shot short of the green is at risk of funneling balls into a front-left pot bunker, while missing green-high left runs the risk of landing in a bunker on that side. The most challenging aspect of the hole, however, is the extreme slope on the right, leading to a steep bunker with a high face.
While some players have praised the new hole for its challenging yet fair design, others have expressed their concerns about its potential impact on the competition. The comments on the new hole range from diplomatic to critical.
Defending Open champion, Cam Smith, described the 17th hole as “dramatic” and “exciting,” highlighting its ability to test the skills and nerves of the players. On the other hand, some players view the hole as an eyesore and a potential calamity, believing it poses a significant threat to their performance.
Martin Slumbers, the CEO of the R&A, the governing body of golf, expressed his confidence in the new hole, stating that it fits well with the overall course design. Slumbers acknowledged that the true greatness of the hole will only be determined after the tournament concludes.
As the 151st British Open continues, all eyes will be on the 17th hole at Royal Liverpool Golf Club. This fresh addition to the course promises to challenge even the most skilled golfers, determining who will emerge victorious in this highly anticipated championship. Will the new hole add excitement and drama to the tournament, or will it become a topic of criticism and controversy? Only time will tell.