The Open: Where is it in 2012?

First let me just welcome the golf community to the month of May. Feels great! To those of you residing in the warmer areas of the country it may not seem like a big deal, but it is a blessing for those of us who truly experience all four seasons. The beginning of May marks the beginning of consistently warm temperatures in this part of the world.

Warm weather is great news for any golf enthusiast. No one likes playing golf inclement weather. It just makes the game more uncomfortable and difficult than it already is.

The PGA season will also begin to heat up in the next several weeks as we start our ascent into the summer months. The excitement begins next weekend at The Players Championship. All the regulars will be on hand at the TPC at Sawgrass to compete in what many call the "5th major".

After the Players, we begin the three month stretch where each month features a major golf tournament.

Remaining PGA Majors in 2012:

June 14-17: U.S. Open
Olympic Golf Club: San Francisco, CA

July 19-22: British Open
Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club: Lytham St. Annes, England

August 9-12: PGA Championships
The Ocean Course: Kiawah Island, SC

A few weeks ago I was thinking about the PGA season and the history of all the majors and how they came to exist. As I began to think about the origin and location of each tournament I first noted that only the Masters is hosted by the same course every year. I then also recognized that the British Open was held at the Old Course at St. Andrews on a regular basis. I then quickly realized that the 2012 British Open was not being held at St. Andrews but in fact is being held at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in England.

This got me wondering how often does St. Andrews host The Open, and if a set rotation existed for the only PGA major not held in the United States? Well folks it turns out there is a very specific rotation. The current rotation has the tournament alternating countries every year between Scotland and England.

Courses Currently In Roatation For The Open:
Carnoustie - Scotland
Muirfield - Scotland
Royal Birkdale - England
Royal Liverpool - England
Royal Lytham & St. Annes - England
Royal St. George's - England
Royal Troon - Scotland
St. Andrews - Scotland
Turnberry - Scotland

However, the rotation will flip-flop starting this summer. The 2011 British Open was held at Royal St. George's Golf Club in England so this year's location should be alternating to Scotland. As I showed you earlier, the tournament is being held in England in 2012 thus not alternating countries from 2011 to 2012. This rare occasion will mark the first time in the tournament's history that the event will be held in England in consecutive years.

It is also important to note that the rotating schedule will be re-established in 2013 when the location moves to Muirfield in Scotland and then comes back to the Royal Liverpool in England for the 2014 Open.

Now that we have that figured out, lets have a brief introduction to the course for this year's British Open. The Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club is located in Lytham St Annes and it can be found in the county of Lancashire, England. This historic course was built in 1897 and has hosted 10 previous Opens. The first Open at this course was held in 1925 and the most recent was played in 2001 when American David Duval took home the Claret Jug.

Parting Knowledge

Darren Clarke from Northern Ireland won the 2011 British Open with a score of 5 under par.

It took until 1996 until an American won the Open at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club. (Tom Lehman)

The last American winner of the Open was Stewart Cink at Turnberry in 2009.

The Open record for lowest aggregate score was set by Greg Norman in 1993. (267, Royal St. George's Gold Club)

The Open record for lowest score to par was set by Tiger Woods in 2000. (-19, St. Andrews)

Written by: Craig Kibler

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