Royal Troon Golf Club
Where: Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland__Times hosting:__9, including this yearYou know it as: "That place with the 'Postage Stamp' green."Unique features: Has both the shortest (Pictured left, the par-3 eighth "Postage Stamp") and longest (Par-5 sixth "Turnberry") holes in the Open rota; Colin Montgomerie played here often during the summers growing up. His dad was the club's secretary and his house was just a half mile down the road.Noteworthy moments: In 1973, Tom Weiskopf won his lone major championship by holding off Johnny Miller and Jack Nicklaus. And yes, Todd Hamilton and his hybrid that he used to chip and got up-and-down 13 of 14 times that week won in 2004 by beating Ernie Els in a playoff. In fact, Troon's past six winners have all been American.
Old Course At St. Andrews
Where: St Andrews, ScotlandTimes hosting: 29 (last in 2015)You know it as: "The Home of Golf." There's not much more to say than that.Unique features: The "Road Hole" (left), on which a road and a hotel come into play; Swilcan Bridge (think Jack Nicklaus waving goodbye); Hell Bunker, large double greens, Valley of Sin, etc.Noteworthy moments: This course has so much history that five players (Bob Martin, J.H. Taylor, James Braid, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods) have won two Open titles there. None were more impressive than Woods' eight-shot romp in 2000, though, when his 19-under-par total set a major championship record. Five years later, Woods would win again here during a week that also saw Jack Nicklaus play in his final major.
Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake
Where: Merseyside, EnglandTimes hosting: 12 (last in 2014)You know it as: "That place where Tiger Woods cried."Unique features: A short drive from Liverpool's Penny Lane of Beatles fame; Site of first contest between Great Britain and the U.S. in 1921, an event that became known as the Walker Cup the following year.Noteworthy moments: In 2006, Tiger Woods (left) won the British Open just two months after his father passed away. He accomplished the feat by only using his driver once all week. The previous time Hoylake hosted the Open -- 39 years before -- Roberto De Vicenzo managed to sign a correct scorecard to claim his lone major title.
Royal Birkdale Golf Club
Where: Southport, EnglandTimes hosting: 9 (last in 2008)You know it as: "That place with the wacky clubhouse."Unique features: The art deco clubhouse (left) that was constructed in 1935; The tallest dunes in the Open rota, which isolate many of the holes from each other.Noteworthy moments: In the 1969 Ryder Cup, Jack Nicklaus conceded a tricky, short putt to Tony Jacklin so that the biennial competition would end in a tie. In 2008, Padraig Harrington became the first European since James Braid in 1906 to retain the claret jug.
(*As of the 2016 Open, Muirfield has been removed from the rota by the R&A because of a club vote to allow women members that came up short. The club is seeking to hold another vote.)Where: Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland__Times hosting:__16 (last in 2013)You know it as: "That course where Tiger shot an 81 in monsoon conditions to end his hope of capturing the calendar Grand Slam in 2002."Unique features: Home to the oldest organized golf club in the world, The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, whose records date back to 1744; Circular routing in which the front nine wraps around the back nine.Noteworthy moments: Jack Nicklaus won his first of three Opens here in 1966 (left) and named his own course in Dublin, Ohio, Muirfield Village, after it. Muirfield was also the site of the 1892 Open, golf's first four-round tournament. In 2013, Phil Mickelson shot one of the great final rounds ever (66 in tough conditions) to capture his first claret jug.
Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club
Where: Lancashire, EnglandTimes hosting: 11 (last in 2012)You know it as: "That course with a lot of bunkers" (205 to be exact).Unique features: Only Open course to start with a par 3; 206 bunkers; Closes with six-straight par 4s.Noteworthy moments: In 1979, Seve Ballesteros (left) deliberately drove his ball into a parking lot on the 16th hole and made birdie on his way to a three-shot victory over Jack Nicklaus. Ballesteros would also win the 1988 Open here. Bobby Jones won his first of three Opens here in 1926 and David Duval won his only major here in 2001.
(*As of the 2016 Open, Turnberry has been removed from the Open rota for now due to comments owner Donald Trump made about Muslims.)Where: South Ayrshire, ScotlandTimes hosting: 4, (last in 2009)You know it as: "That scenic place Tom Watson really likes," and now "that British Open course Donald Trump owns."Unique features: Beautiful view of Ailsa Craig rock island, Turnberry Point Lighthouse.Noteworthy moments: In 1977, Watson fired a pair of 65s over the weekend to beat Jack Nicklaus (left) by one shot in what is known as the "Duel In The Sun." Incredibly, Watson nearly won here again 32 years later at age 59, losing to Stewart Cink in a playoff dubbed the "Duel that disappointed everyone other than Cink's immediate family."
Royal St George's Golf Club
Where: Sandwich, Kent, EnglandTimes hosting: 14 (last in 2011)You know it as: "That place with the power plants towering in the horizon."Unique feature: Fourth hole has the deepest bunker (left) in championship golf.Noteworthy moments: RSG became the first course located outside of Scotland to host an Open in 1894. More than a century later, it was the site of one of the game's most surprising wins when Ben Curtis -- ranked 396th in the world -- claimed the claret jug.
Carnoustie Golf Links
Where: Carnoustie, ScotlandTimes hosting: 7 (last in 2007)You know it as: "That place where Jean Van de Velde happened."Unique feature: Barry Burn, which meanders through the course.Noteworthy moments: Dubbed "Car-nasty" in 1999 after three players qualified for a playoff at six-over par. Of course, there wouldn't have been any need for extra holes if Van de Velde (left) hadn't made a triple bogey on the 72nd hole. Eight years later, more drama happened on No. 18 when Padraig Harrington found Barry Burn twice and made a double bogey, but still got into a playoff he would win thanks to Sergio Garcia bogeying the same hole.