Royal Lytham1) Bobby Jones, perhaps the greatest golfer ever to have played the sport, won his first ever Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes in 1926. His achievement is not only marked in the clubhouse but also by a plaque on the 17th hole, where Jones played a mashie off a difficult lie to set up victory against Al Watrous.

2) The scoring record for tournament play was set in 2004 by James Heath (of Coombe Wood Golf Club, Surrey). His four-round score of 266 was enough to claim victory in the Lytham Trophy by no less than 8 shots from Ross Fisher. The score was 5 shots better than the 271 set by 1996 Open Champion Tom Lehman.

3) The opening hole is a 205 yard par-3, the only course on the Open Rota to start with a short hole. The course closes with 6 straight par-4s, this will be where the championship is won and lost.

4) Royal Lytham has held 10 Open Championships (excluding 2012). The winners are as follows;
Bobby Jones – 1926
Bobby Locke – 1952
Peter Thomson – 1958
Sir Bob Charles – 1963
Tony Jacklin – 1969
Gary Player – 1974
Seve Ballesteros – 1979
Seve Ballesteros – 1988
Tom Lehman – 1996
David Duval – 2001

5) Although Seve Ballesteros was famed for his swashbuckling style around Royal Lytham in claiming the 1979 Claret Jug, it was actually Roberto de Vicenzo who put together the plan of attack around the seaside links. De Vicenzo noted that distance was the key to avoiding the rough, in hitting numerous drivers Ballesteros was able to reach the thin and more sparse rough rather than the tougher stuff located nearer the tee.

6) The 2012 Open Championship scorecard tips the scales at 7,086 yards for its par of 70. The course does however measure a total of 7,118 yards from its championship markers. So despite the difficulty that the pros will encounter at Lytham this week – it could be harder!

7) There are currently 205 bunkers on the course. The 17th hole is protected by no less than 20!

8) Although the course is famed for hosting Open Championship it has also hosted numerous important tournaments including the annual amateur event in The Lytham Trophy which can count the likes of Paul Broadhurst, Roger Chapman, Peter McEvoy and Sir Michael Bonnallack as past champions. The course has also hosted four Women’s British Opens in 1998, 2003, 2006 and 2009.

9) The club was founded in 1886 with the original course designed by George Lowe. However it wasn’t until Harry Colt undertook a redesign of the course that it joined the Open Rota.

10) There has been just one left handed Open Champion, Sir Bob Charles when he claimed victory in the 1963 championships – perhaps this will be a good omen for the likes of Phil Mickelson or Bubba Watson?