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British Open venues: best golf courses in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland

Updated 1013 GMT (1813 HKT) July 11, 2017
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The British Open rotates around 10 of the best links golf courses in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. St. Andrews (pictured) is known as the "Home of Golf" and its Old Course is arguably the game's most hallowed turf. David Cannon/Getty Images
St. Andrews: Golf has been played over the dunes and linksland of St. Andrews since the 15th Century. The clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club stands sentinel over the unique layout which starts and finishes in town. Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
St. Andrews: There are six courses squeezed onto St. Andrews' links, with the Old Course at their heart. The Road Hole 17th and 18th form an iconic finishing stretch. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
St. Andrews: The Old Course is known for its blind drives over seas of gorse, vast greens, and swales, humps and hollows which require imagination and the ability to use the ground to your advantage. David Cannon/Getty Images
Royal Birkdale: The 2017 Open Championship will take place at Royal Birkdale in Lancashire, northwest England. It has been in existence since 1897 and is easily recognized by its 1930s art-deco clubhouse. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Royal Birkdale: This powerhouse of a links features flat fairways and fair greens with holes framed by towering dunes. David Cannon/Getty Images
Turnberry: Perhaps best known now for being owned by US President Donald Trump, Turnberry on Scotland's west coast is a spectacular Open venue which underwent a recent revamp. David Cannon/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Turnberry: The Ailsa course occupies a sublime location overlooking the Firth of Clyde with sweeping views to the Ailsa Craig rock and the Isle of Arran. Phil Inglis/Getty Images
Royal Troon: The classic old links on Scotland's Ayrshire coast last hosted the Open in 2016 when Henrik Stenson won a famous duel against Phil Mickelson on the final day. Scotland's Colin Montgomerie (pictured) is a Troon native. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Royal Troon: The course is famed for its devilish par-three eighth hole, dubbed the "Postage Stamp." It's only 123 yards long but provides a stiff test in the wind, with deep bunkers and a thin green. David Cannon/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Carnoustie: Northeast of Dundee on Scotland's east coast lies the fearsome links of Carnoustie, known as one of the toughest courses on the Open calendar. David Cannon/Getty Images
Carnoustie: The Championship course is on many golfers' bucket list and is famed as the venue where Jean Van de Velde paddled in the burn during a final-hole collapse in 1999. Phil Inglis/Getty Images
Muirfield: The jewel in the crown of Scotland's "Golf Coast" of East Lothian, Muirfield is a celebrated if controversial Open venue. Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Muirfield: The testing track near Gullane has been mired in controversy after the club voted -- at the second attempt -- to admit female members. Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
Royal Lytham & St. Annes: Nestled in a pocket of duneland surrounded by houses and a railway track, Royal Lytham in northwest England retains a charming links quality. Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
Royal Lytham & St. Annes: The relatively short course still provides a tough test with 206 bunkers to navigate. South African Ernie Els won the last Open here in 2012. Chris Carlson/AP
Royal Liverpool: Out on the Wirral peninsula to the west of Liverpool lies the course commonly known as Hoylake, a venerable old links overlooking the Irish Sea. David Cannon/Getty Images
Royal Liverpool: Legendary golf scribe Bernard Darwin once wrote: "Hoylake, blown upon by mighty winds, breeder of mighty champions." Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have both won the Open here. David Cannon/Getty Images
Royal St. George's: The furthest south of the Open venues in England, Royal St. George's is a quintessential links overlooking the North Sea in Kent. David Davies/Associated Press
Royal St. George's: It is a testing mix of undulating fairways, slick greens and daunting bunkers. Rui Vieira/Associated Press
Royal Portrush: Hugging Antrim's north coast, Royal Portrush returns to the Open rotation in 2019, the first time the tournament has been hosted outside England or Scotland since it hosted the 1951 event. Niall Carson/PA Images
Royal Portrush: The Dunluce course is one of the world's most celebrated links layouts hugging the cliff tops and overlooking the Irish Sea with views to Donegal in the west and Scotland in the east. Patrick Bolger/Getty Images