For the 11th time in the 163-year history of the Open Championship, golf’s oldest major will take place at Royal Birkdale in 2026, which is no surprise. Six years have already passed since Jordan Spieth won the most recent Open over the Southport links in the north-west of England.

And not since the first championship outside Scotland was held at Royal St George’s in 1894 has the event been played outside England three years in succession. So, with Royal Troon (Scotland) in place for 2024 and Royal Portrush (Northern Ireland) set to host in 2025, the return to Birkdale for what will be the 154th Open was predictable.

“Royal Birkdale is a world class championship venue and its outstanding links will once again provide the world’s best men’s professional golfers with a tough but fair test of their talents and capabilities as they compete for the claret jug,” said R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers in a statement. “It has produced many memorable moments that are woven into the story of this historic championship, including a dramatic final round in 2017 when Jordan Spieth won for the first time. We look forward to another special occasion in three years and it will be fascinating to see which player will emerge to join a list of renowned champion golfers to have won at Royal Birkdale.”

Indeed, Birkdale’s previous champions – six of the nine American – are an accomplished bunch, boasting as many as 37 major victories between them. In addition to Spieth, Peter Thomson, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson, Ian Baker-Finch, Mark O’Meara and Padraig Harrington have all claimed the coveted title there. Of those, only Baker-Finch has not won multiple majors.

This year’s Open Championship starts next Thursday at Royal Liverpool.