A brief history of Royal Liverpool Golf Club

Royal Liverpool circa 1956. (Getty Images)
Royal Liverpool circa 1956. (Getty Images)

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The golf season is about to turn to the east (depending on where you live) for the British Open which is always slightly awkward because we want to wake up at 4 a.m. and watch our favorite golfers compete in the oldest tournament in the world but we often don't know that much about the venue or the people or the town.

We understand Augusta and the Masters and everything that tournament is about. Ditto the US Open and PGA Championship for the most part, though we often need a bit of catching up on those fronts, as well.

But the British Open (or just "The Open" depending again on where you live) is a slippery thing. All historic and wily and wonderful, but largely unkown.

Let's start here and we'll progress forward over the next two weeks. A few things you need to know about the 2014 British Open.

12th British Open: This will be the dozenth time the British Open will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club (also called "Hoylake" for the town it's in) but just the second since 1967.

Here's how it looks on a map: That's the Irish Sea off to the west and London to the southeast. I'm always jealous of courses in England and Scotland that were built a Tiger 3-wood to the seas. It makes the man-made ponds at places like the Byron Nelson Championship look silly.

For the 2006 tournament they flipped the course: Yep, the tournament started on the members' 17th hole and ended on the 16th.

Cynthia Powell is from there: Who is Cynthia Powell? You might know her better as Cynthia Lennon which was her name after she married John Lennon. She hails from Hoylake.

Bobby Jones won here: In 1930 Bobby Jones won the second leg of the grand slam at Royal Liverpool. There's even video proof.

Tiger won here, too: It was probably his most emotional win ever, shortly after his father Earl passed away.

Royal Liverpool was built on a horse track in 1869: It was built on the racecourse of the Liverpool Hunt Club and according to its website "Hoylake is the oldest of all the English seaside courses with the exception of Westward Ho! in Devon."

First amateur championship: Hoylake hosted the first Amateur Championship in 1885. It has done so 17 times since with the most recent taking place in 2000.

Its most famous quote: The most famous thing ever said about Hoylake was by a golf writer named Bernard Darwin and it went like this.

"Hoylake, blown upon by mighty winds, breeder of mighty champions."

It is beautiful: Oh, is it ever beautiful.

Here is what Hoylake looks like now. (Getty Images)
Here is what Hoylake looks like now. (Getty Images)

15 days until we get this thing underway.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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