'Open Rota' in Golf

A scene from Carnoustie, one of the golf courses included in the 'Open Rota.'
David Cannon/Getty Images

"Open rota" is the term applied to the rotation of golf courses that host the Open Championship.

Open Rota Profile

The British Open is played at a different course each year, alternating between Scotland and England. There are currently nine golf courses in the Open rota (listed in no particular order):

The only constant is that The Old Course is the site of the Open Championship every fifth year (which currently coincides with years ending in 0 and 5: 1990, 1995, 2005, etc.). As noted, the R&A typically alternates between England and Scotland, although that is not always the case.

Other than those two considerations, the R&A slots the above courses into the Open rota as it sees fit, which doesn't always result in a regular pattern. For example, Royal Birkdale hosted in 1983, then eight years later in 1991, then seven years later in 1998, then 10 years later in 2008.

Muirfield hosted in 1987, five years later in 1992, 10 years later in 2002, and again in 2013. But in 2016 the Muirfield membership voted to stick with its policy of only admitting men as members. At that point, the R&A announced a policy that any club with gender-discriminatory membership policies would be ineligible to host the Open.

Muirfield dropped from the rota at that point, but might rejoin at a later time if its membership policy is reversed.

Also, note that all the courses in the rotation are links.

See also:​ Yearly list of British Open golf courses.