THE Open Championship, the country's biggest golf tournament, is still coming to Wirral even though a nearby course could close.

Under proposals being considered by Wirral Council, Hoylake Municipal and another public golf course, Brackenwood in Bebington may be shut down.

This would leave Wirral with just two municipal golf courses, The Warren in Wallasey and Arrowe Park Golf Course.

Last year, all four courses were up for closure initially, before the cuts plan was dropped.

But Hoylake Municipal was removed from the list before the future of the other three courses was considered, with several sources telling the Local Democracy Reporting Service that if it closed, the Royal Liverpool Golf Club's hosting of the 2023 Open Championship would be at risk.

However, Wirral Council has said this is not the case.

A spokesperson for Wirral Council said: "The council remains committed to delivering the 2023 Golf Open (and beyond) at the Royal Liverpool and providing the necessary infrastructure to support this.

"The Royal & Ancient (R&A, tournament organisers for The Open) and The Royal Liverpool Golf Club have been made aware of the council's proposal to cease municipal golf at this site, however this in no way impacts on the ability to deliver The Open."

Explaining what does need to remain at the site, the spokesperson added: "The R&A requires the space to provide a practice area for players, and to park cars and other support vehicles.

"This could be done irrespective of whether Hoylake was open to the public as a golf course or not, and at this stage there are no formulated plans for the future of the Hoylake site."

The plan to reduce the number of golf courses in Wirral is one of a number of cuts the local authority is considering in order to save the £27m needed to balance its budget.

Other proposals include closing Woodchurch Leisure Centre, shutting several libraries and closing nine public toilets.

But at this stage none of the cuts or closures have been confirmed.

The Wirral Council spokesperson continued: "At present no final decisions on any of the budget proposals have been made.

"The next step will be for members of the council’s cross-party policy and resources committee to consider these proposals before a final decision on the budget will be made by all members of the council."