There will be a spectacular new penultimate hole for the 2022 Open at Hoylake, while the 18th is getting beefed up
When Rory McIlroy tees off at the 2022 Open as Royal Liverpool’s defending champion, he and the rest of the field will have a new hole to enjoy – and it will come in a welcome small package. For the Championship it will play as the 17th – the 15th for the members – and it will measure just 139 yards. Gone from the 2014 Open, where McIlroy won by two over Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler, will be the 15th with the new green sitting in the area of that tee. The name of the hole, ‘Rushes’, will remain the same.
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The players will hit to an elevated green looking out to the Dee Estuary and it will precede a newly-lengthened closing hole of 607 yards if stretched to the tips.
Other alterations, which have been overseen by Martin Ebert and are being made to make the course ‘future friendly’, include the front of the 4th green being raised, the 7th green being moved to the left to open up space for a new tee at the 8th and a new run-off at the 13th green.
The first, and largest, works are almost complete with the second phase beginning in the autumn of 2020, though these will be mainly off-course alterations.
Ebert, who advises on seven of the 10 Open courses, explained: “The project at Royal Liverpool has been an extremely exciting one overall but the opportunity to create a new hole on a great links such as Hoylake is a rare one.
“The hope and expectation is that not only can a very short hole produce significant drama for the penultimate hole of the Open, but also provide the club with a hole which members and visiting golfers from around the world will be hugely excited to play. It is also a real advantage of the new hole project that the Championship 15th and 18th par-5 holes will be strengthened with new back tees.”
Royal Liverpool changes for the 2022 Open
The green will be raised to produce a flatter landing area to enable more pin positions as well reducing hard kicks through the back of the green.
The overall size of the green will also be reduced.
The green is to be moved to the left of its current location to allow for a new tee complex for the 8th hole.
The trees will be reduced in height to allow the 8th fairway to be seen from the off the tee.
A new run-off area will be created around the green.
This will be a brand new hole, measuring just 139 yards with the elevated green located on the same site of the current 15th tee.
The par-5 finisher will have two new tees added to increase the length to 607 yards. This is facilitated by the change of routing for the new 17th hole described below.