2012 Champion Jiyai Shin during the 2nd Round Press Conference
'It's A Tremendous Golf Course, Very Classic Links'
Paula Creamer @ThePCreamer - 17th September via Twitter
What an incredible week this was! That was what a British Open should be like! Thanks to the fans and volunteers for making this memorable
Jiyai Shin - Press Conference 16th September
This is my new favourite course
Cristie Kerr – Press Conference 13th September
It's one of the best courses that I've ever played. It's so good. It's probably the best ladies British course that I've played, and I used to say Royal Lytham and St. Annes was my favourite and it's still one of my favourites, but this is an unbelievable golf course because you have to have it all, patience and a lot of long clubs into greens.
Laura Davies – Press Conference 12th September
...the fairways are about as wider as this table I reckon, if that on some occasions, a fabulous golf course.
We might go down in flames, but we'll certainly have a go at it because this course will overpower you quickly if you're not careful.
We are on probably one of the hardest links golf courses I have ever seen in my life.
...I would say no.3 is a monster. That's just one of the toughest holes you'll ever play ... they are all fantastic. I mean, there's not one bad hole out there.
The bunkering, I always thought Lytham was one of the best bunkered golf courses I ever played, but I think this is on a par to it because you can see them all, and can see what you're facing. I don't know who designed it, but it's fantastic.
Yani Tseng – Reigning Champion Press Conference 12th September 2012
I just love the course. I think you have to use so much different imagination out there, just need to really work the ball and really just have fun out there.
I don't know why, I'm just excited to go out and challenge on this golf course
...actually this is the first time I have ever had a 3-iron in my bag, because I think this golf course, you really need to keep the ball low
I feel like I'm liking every hole
I would say if you had a 2 or 3 shot lead for the last 4 holes, it would be perfect. I think you need that because that way you can play more – you cannot be aggressive on the last few holes.
Melissa Reid – Top Ranked English Player Press Conference 12th September 2012
It's pretty brutal. Not going to beat around the bush here. It's a great golf course.
This is probably the longest I've seen a golf course for a ladies event
Every hole is tough. There's not really a hole where you're saying, all right there's a birdie opportunity. I think you definitely are going to be tired after every single round because of the amount of focus that you have to put into every shot... But personally I love it, because you have to shape shots and it gives me a little bit more focus, so I'm looking forward to it
Carly Booth – LET Money List leader – Press Conference 12th September 2012
It's looking awesome...The course itself is in great shape
Catriona Matthew – 2009 Champion Press Conference 12th September 2012
The golf course is in fantastic share and the greens area some of the best we have putted on all year.
I think when they started playing The Open courses, I think that was great for women's golf. And it added for prestige overseas for people watching; when they see us playing the likes of a Hoylake, Birkdale, Turnberry, the ones the men played, it definitely adds to the whole prestige of the event.
Michelle Wie – Press Conference after Cancellation of play 14th September 2012
Especially on a golf course like this, you have to be patient and if you have opportunities, you have to go grab them
Karrie Webb – Press Conference 13th September 2012
You've still got to commit to the lines that you want to hit your shots on, and do it. I think that there's a lot of links courses that there's a side to miss on, and I don't think this course, especially off the tee, there's a side to miss on. You've just got to get up there and hit a good shot.
So Yeon Ryu – US Open Winner Press Conference 13th September 2012
This type of golf, I never played this type of golf course. But it's really tough but fun
Lydia Hall – Press Conference 13th September 2012
It's in fantastic condition. The greens are amazing
Lydia Ko – Press Conference 13th September 2012
This is definitely a tough golf course. I think this is one of the hardest golf courses I've ever played
We asked Catriona Matthew, Melissa Reid, Paula Creamer, Karen Stupples and Laura Davies to share their thoughts on the debut at Hoylake of the RICOH Women's British Open.
What do you know of Hoylake?
Catriona: We played the Curtis Cup there 20 years ago! I've also played the Hoylake Mixed event a few times which is a good social event they hold there. So I do remember the odd hole but I definitely need to get myself re-acquainted with it.
Melissa: I went there once for some GB&I squad training. It must have been around 2005 or 2006. We got rained off though after a few holes so I didn't get to see too much of the course. I'm looking forward to getting to know it this year!
Paula: I've only been there one time, and it was just to practise during the Curtis Cup.
So you've had a practise round there?
Paula: No, just practised at the practice area. But I think the British Open is a special place. My caddie is English and my coach is English as well so, for me, I've always wanted to do so well and to play it just because of those ties. It's a major. You want to play well and you want to be Major Champion. So definitely I am looking forward to going there this year.
Karen: I know Hoylake. I played the British Amateur Championship there.
How did you get on?
Karen: Well, I qualified for match play and I think I lost in the first round. I think I may have lost to Kelli Kuehne who was the eventual winner. It's a tremendous golf course, very classic links. It's going to be tricky depending on the weather. Who knows what September will bring? But normally September is pretty nice in the U.K. so I'm planning on nice weather.
Laura: I've never been there. I actually know nothing about it. I'm looking forward to it obviously. When Tiger won there I watched that like a hawk. It looked like it was incredibly well bunkered, lots of irons off the tee probably for me, because it looks like if you hit woods and get it wrong, you're gone. So you've got to keep it in play.
Do you do any special preparation for links golf?
Laura: Not really. I just love it because you can hit down through the ball so much better. So for me it's my favourite form of golf. I'm looking forward to it. I'm really excited to play.
Karen: Absolutely. You have to get into bump and run shots and chip ins low and hitting low drives, as well. Right now I'm flying the ball far too high so I really need to work on keeping the ball down a little bit there.
Paula: Always when I'm at home, probably a couple of months prior to it, I start hitting my 4 iron and clubs that I don't normally carry in my bag for the wind. And I practise with my rescue club. But other than that, you know, I don't really try and do anything else but get used to looking at those clubs, since we really only use them once a year.
Melissa: I do change things slightly. I practice knock-down shots and the chip and run. Also the longer putts for the bigger greens that links courses tend to have.
Catriona: I'd try to practice punch shots and bump and runs and all the various shots that we might use more playing in the wind, as it's bound to blow at some stage or another! And I think we have to concentrate even more on a windy links course as there are extra factors to be aware of. Things can change so quickly too so we have to stay on our toes and think fast.
Melissa: I think that staying patient is key.
In this Olympic year what's your opinion of golf's return to the Games in 2016?
Laura: It could be our fifth major, sixth major. It's huge for golf and it will be great for the pros that get in it. I might be too old, who knows? We'll see what happens.
Karen: It's very exciting actually. I think it's going to bring golf to a much bigger audience, and I think you'll get countries that will start to play golf that would not normally have played golf before. You'll see more funding going towards it, and I think bigger support in general. You just look at athletics in the U.K., when the Olympics comes on, it goes huge. Just got to hope that with golf being part of it, golf will be taken seriously as well.
Melissa: I can't wait for golf to return to the Olympics. I just hope I will be there. It's certainly one of my main goals.
Catriona: It's great for golf that we are being included in the Olympics. Obviously I'd like to be there – perhaps that would be a good way to end my career!
2004 champion Karen Stupples added the following on Twitter after her practice round at Hoylake.
She also went on to say how she thought the bunkers were fantastic, which caused a number of her followers to question this. She qualified it to say that the bunkers are tough but brilliant because of the quality of the sand and the intelligent positioning of them. We don't often get people praising the bunkers!!
Paula Creamer also visited Hoylake for a practise round and had this to say on the Golf Channel TV Show (28th August 2012) afterwards:
"I really enjoy the test of links golf and I loved every minute of my weekend playing this historic links course for the first time. It is in great condition, the sun shone and everyone I met at the Club was so welcoming and seemed as excited as I am about the upcoming Championship."
"I love the golf course, it sets up really well for my game. It's very narrow. There is lots of trouble if you don't hit it in the fairway. It is all about good yardages so my caddie, Colin, will have to work a little harder that week. It is great going over there. Ricoh has been doing such a wonderful job for us getting us all the great golf courses where history is and this and that and to be able to go there and play for the first time for women. It is going to be exciting."
"I love that type of golf. I love toughing it out there. Half the people are beat because it is harder. You are going to get bounces that you scratch your head and say what the heck just happened here but that's the fun part about it. I am really looking forward to playing Hoylake, Royal Liverpool. I have been there when I was younger. I got to go play it and the golf course sets up great for me so who knows, it might be my week."