The Open Championship will be held at Royal Birkdale in 2017 and Carnoustie the following year, the R&A has announced.

Birkdale last hosted the Open in 2008 when Pádraig Harrington won his second consecutive Claret Jug after claiming his first at Carnoustie a year earlier.

The 143rd edition of golf's oldest major will begin on 17 July at Royal Liverpool with the tournament then moving to St Andrew's in 2015 and staying in Scotland at Royal Troon the following year.

Meanwhile, Tom Watson has been given an exemption to play in the 2015 British Open to mark the 40th anniversary of his first appearance and victory in the championship.

The R&A made the announcement and presented 64-year-old Watson with a special silver player's badge for the championship depicting his five Open trophies.

"Tom is the most successful Open champion still playing today and has made a huge contribution to the championship over the last 40 years," said Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A.

"His performances in winning the open on five occasions were truly outstanding and to come so close to winning a sixth championship in 2009 demonstrates his longevity in the sport.

"We are delighted that he will be able to play in the Open next year."