British Open officials say no to shortcuts on Royal Birkdale's ninth hole

Geoff Shackelford

British Open officials say no to shortcuts on Royal Birkdale's ninth hole

PGA Tour

British Open officials say no to shortcuts on Royal Birkdale's ninth hole

SOUTHPORT, England – The decree came down from the R&A on Tuesday at Royal Birkdale: No shortcuts at this Open Championship.

Specifically, the R&A nixed the idea of players hitting their tee shots from the ninth tee down the 10th fairway. This strategy would allow players to severely cut the dogleg right on the ninth hole. The alternative route gives players a look at the ninth green with wedge, rather than a short iron.

The R&A’s chief referee, David Rickman, released a notice announcing the new local rule on Tuesday: “When playing the ninth hole only, a ball on or beyond the 10th fairway (defined by the edge of the closely-mown area) is out of bounds.”

There will be no white stakes or lines used to define or indicate this boundary, according to the notice.

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