The oldest of the four major championships, The Open, inaugurated in 1860, has only been skipped during times of war (1915-1919 and 1940-1945) and once due to a lack of a prize (1871). The current champion, Phil Mickelson, joined the ranks of champions in 2013 when he shot a 66 (-5) in the final round, edging out runner-up Henrik Stenson. That match was played at Muirfield, host to sixteen championships to date. Muirfield is a links course arranged as two loops of nine holes, one clockwise, one counter-clockwise (out and in), and was extended by 211 yards following the 2002 Championship game, bringing the total yards to 7,245.
But this year, the championship is being played at the Royal Liverpool in Merseyside in North West England. Here, an extra competitor stalks the greens and whether you’re Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods or Sergio Garcia, you need to be prepared for this competitor known simply as - The Wind. Winds, blowing in off the Irish Sea, is the biggest defense offered at Royal Liverpool. You have mounds and moguls, uneven stances, thick heather and deep pot bunkers - even flat greens - but it’s the wind you have to watch for.