4. Royal Birkdale (1969)

The site of the first-ever Ryder Cup tie (and the closest Great Britain would come to the trophy for almost three decades), Royal Birkdale is famous for its spot on the Open rota, as well as for its polarizing Art Deco land-yacht of a clubhouse. A stout links dating to 1889, Birkdale plays through a pure dunescape dotted with deep, sod-walled bunkers. Its location in the charming resort town of Southport, north of Liverpool, makes an ideal base for touring the string of links running down this stretch of England's west coast.

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