The excitement is starting to build.

Next week the Open Championship will head back to Royal Troon in Scotland after a 12-year absence.

And if this year’s instalment is half as exciting as the last time the best players teed the ball in South Ayrshire in 2004, then we are in for a treat.

To get you in the mood for the 145th edition of the prestigious tournament, here are some facts to sink your teeth in to.

10 Royal Troon Open facts

Royal Troon open facts

1. The last six winners of the Open at Troon were all American. They include Arnold Palmer (1962), Tom Weiskopf (1973), Tom Watson (1982), Mark Calcavecchia (1989), Justin Leonard (1997) and Todd Hamilton (2004).

2. This year’s Open will be the ninth time the championship has been held at Royal Troon, pulling it level with Southport’s Royal Birkdale. However, Troon has a long way to go to catch up with St Andrews which has hosted the tournament a record 29 times.

3. The hardest hole at Royal Troon during the 2004 Open was the par-4 11th, “The Railway”, because it played to a 4.41 stroke average.

4. Englishman Arthur Havers won the very first Open to be played at Troon in 1923. The one-time Major winner posted a score of 295 to claim the £75 prize fund.

Royal Troon open facts

5. At the beginning of this month Royal Troon members voted overwhelmingly to admit female members during a special general meeting. The result of the ballot changed the club’s 138-year policy.

6. Troon was formed on March 16, 1878, in the Portland Arms Hotel in Troon.

7. Shock 2004 Open winner Todd Hamilton recorded a 72-hole score of 275 (-10) to finish tied for first with Ernie Els. The relatively unknown Hamilton beat 2002 champion Els in a four-hole play-off.

8. The lowest 72-hole  score at Troon was achieved by American Mark Calcavecchia in 1989 when he recorded a score of 275 (-13). That put him in a three-way play-off with Australians Greg Norman and Wayne Grady. However, it was the American who would prevail over four play-off holes.

Royal Troon open facts

9. George Strath was Troon’s first ever professional. He was appointed in 1881 and would hold the position until 1887. He became the first Scottish professional to emigrate to the United States when he left to live in Brooklyn, New York.

10. Troon has two 18-hole courses – the signature Old Course and Portland Course. The Portland is shorter than the championship Old Course and further inland.

Read more