When Kiwis Fly

A Sports Tour of Great Britain
Royal Lytham
It is not beautiful in the traditional sense of the golfing links word. It is set in an area of housing, beside a busy railroad line. It is not set beside the beach, but is more than half a mile from the Fylde coast.
The wind often blows hard across the course and you will spend a lot of time playing out of bunkers as there are over 200 on the course.
But the more time you spend there, the more the course envelops you, the more you feel its traditions and its history the more beautiful you will begin to find this wonderful links course.
In 2012, Royal Lytham & St Annes will host the British Open for the eleventh time.
The famed American amateur Bobby Jones won here when the Open was first staged here in 1926. He had won the US Open at Inwood Country Club, New York a month earlier and he became the first man to complete that double. Famously, he left the course between the two rounds and forgot his competitor badge. A security guard did not recognise him, so Jones calmly went to the desk and paid as a spectator to get back on to the course. 
You can see the plaque on the 17th hole from where Jones played a remarkable second shot in the final round. The Mashie he used to play this shot is kept on display in the clubhouse along with a wide collection of other historic mementos.
Other British Open winners have included Peter Thomson, Gary Player and the late Seve Ballesteros who won at Royal Lytham twice. American Tom Lehman was victorious and in 2001 David Duval claimed his only major title.
But for New Zealand sports fans, Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club will always be associated with only one name – Sir Robert James Charles. In 1963 Bob Charles became the first left-hander and the first New Zealander to win a major golf championship. These records were not matched for forty years when left handed Mike Weir won The Masters in 2003 and two years later New Zealand's Michael Campbell won the US Open.