British Eagle Mania: The British Open heads to Liverpool

It’s been almost two weeks since Martin Kaymer’s demolition of the US Open field and for the casual golf fan their attention may have been drawn elsewhere. We had one of the deepest NBA drafts ever, Lebron James opting for free agency and causing a frenzy (again), there seems to be a never ending stream of cliffhanger World Cup games (RIP team USA) and Wimbledon to name a few. Oh and let’s not forget Michelle Wie cashing in on that prodigy status and winning the Women’s US Open at Pinehurst.

With all of that going on how is the 2014 British Open going to compete? Oh what’s that? Tiger Woods is healthy and playing golf again? Problem solved.

Photo: David Cannon

Photo: David Cannon

As I’ve talked about before, large amounts of people just don’t care about golf unless Tiger Woods is playing. Ludicrous I know, but not everyone can appreciate the art of the game. It’s probably because they have never listened to Will Smith talk about golf. There is something to be said for seeing history made before your eyes. It’s a badge of honor to say you saw Derek Jeter play his last game in Yankee Stadium. Sure the moment may be fleeting and after a few hours or days the game or round will be over but the memory of being there is a mark of pride that thousands of people will envy. A lot of people can say they saw Kobe score 81 in person but only 18,000 or so actually did.

So they may not love the art of golf but they definitely can appreciate the gravity of a major when Tiger Woods plays. The Tiger effect happens without even knowing it. I have spent half my time writing about Tiger and not one word about the course, the major or the other golfers. Despite the history Tiger could reel a little bit closer, his outlook for winning at the Royal Liverpool in two weeks isn’t looking great. He’s just returned from injury and missed the cut at the Quicken Loans National last weekend. Before the injury he had three straight top 10 finishes so a return to the last group on Sunday wouldn’t be a surprise however. He also won here back in 2006 almost entirely without a driver so he knows what it’ll take.

If you are considering attending the British Open you’re going to find the course to be very flat and open. You’ll also notice a lack of trees which means great sight-lines for those walking in the gallery. For those of you who want to go with the grand stand option, you’ll get a wider view of the whole course and may be able to watch play on a neighboring hole. You should also be able to see the vintage, red roofed homes the surround the course. If that doesn’t make you feel dignified watching golf I don’t know what will. If you’re just looking for a hole with a view, I’d say plant yourself on the 13th green. It’s a short hole at only 198 yards which means an ace is always in play. In between shots you’ll get a chance to look over at Hilbre Island sitting out in the River Dee.

While the view may be spectacular, one thing you are going to have to be aware of is the weather. This course is planted on the coastline so expect for some windy conditions. It could be a pleasant summer breeze or something heavier but it’s always windy in England so be ready. With this being a coastal golf course, weather can change rapidly make sure to keep an eye on the reports.

We’ve seen some pretty amazing and historic golf courses host Major championships over the last few months but they might all be outdone by the Royal Liverpool. The Royal is the second oldest seaside golf course in England having been built in 1869 which is a staggeringly long time ago. When it was built things like cars, planes, light bulbs and the telephone hadn’t been invented yet. The civil war had only ended four years prior. If you’re looking for a reason to go watch the British Open in person, the history might just be it. The Royal hosted the first amateur championship, several first international friendlies and was involved in Bobby Jones’ famous 1930 grand slam.

Regardless of the event this course is going to be a fantastic venue to visit. Add in the British Open, Tiger’s return, Kaymer’s opportunity to rule golf with an iron fist, and Rickie Fowler’s attempt to bring back some color to England, you have a great Major championship to be in attendance for.