The Open Championship golf courses represent the best that British linksland golf has had to offer since the first Championship was played at Prestwick in 1860. Since then The Open has been played over fourteen golf courses, each worthy of challenging the world's best players of the day and an Open Championship golf course guide encompasses the best of British golf.
The Open Championship was first played on 17 October 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club, in Ayrshire, Scotland.
Prestwick held the first 12 Opens before the Championship moved to the Old Course St Andrews in 1873 and Musselburgh Old Course the year after, and these courses dominated the early Championships.
Prestwick eventually hosed The Open on 24 occasions, with the last being played in 1925, a record only taken by St Andrews when the Championship was played over the Old Course in 1995.
The Championship has visted a number of famous links that, as is the case with Prestwick and Musselburgh, represented exacting tests when The Open was hosted, but are no longer suitable to modern Championship golf. Royal Cinque Ports, Deal (1909, 1920), Princes (1932) and Royal Portrush (1951), which is the only course not on the British mainland to hold the event, remain excellent tests and their history and Open traditions ensure they remain near the top of many golfers must play lists.
Of course the courses currently on the Open Championship Rota are world famous Championship tests and need no introduction. St Andrews Old (first Open 1873), Muirfield (1892), Royal St. Georges (1894), Royal Liverpool (1897), Royal Troon (1923), Royal Lytham & St Annes (1926), Carnoustie (1931), Royal Birkdale (1954) and Turnberry Ailsa (1977) represent the very best of golf in Scotland and golf in England.