Royal St George hosts the
149th Open Championship

Find out more about Royal St George Golf Club, how they have prepared for hosting The Open and other interesting Open Facts!

Thursday 15th July 2021 brings the start of the 149th Open Golf championship, after the 2020 edition was postponed due to Covid-19. The landmark 150th edition will be held at St Andrews in July 2022.

It is being hosted at Royal St George’s Golf Club located in Sandwich, Kent. This course first hosted The Open in 1894, when it became the first course outside Scotland to host the competition. It has hosted 14 Opens in all, which is more than any other English venue. It is located on “Kent’s Golf Coast”, which also includes Royal Cinque Ports, which has hosted The Open twice, and Prince’s which hosted The Open in 1932. The course was opened in 1887, and is a par 70 with a length of 7,204 yards. Also, the 4th hole is home to the deepest bunker in championship golf!

The course was designed by Laidlaw Purves, a Scottish surgeon who played a big part in golf in the late 19th Century. He was a big supporter of Women’s Golf, and arranged the meeting of Ladies golf clubs in 1893 that led to the formation of the Ladies Golf Union. He also, along with Henry Lamb and Issette Pearson, helped introduce the handicap system into British golf.

Royal St George’s last hosted the tournament in 2011, when it was won by the Northern Irishman Darren Clarke by 3 shots from Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. It was his 20th start in The Open  when he finally won, after a couple of near misses. He now lives in The Bahamas, and has won a couple of times on the Champions Tour in the US. He’ll be playing again this week.

The preparations for the tournament started on April 11th 2021 with the footings for the 1st Tee Grandstand, where Shane Lowry will be introduced as the defending champion following his win at Royal Portrush in 2019. The contractors actually turned up on March 23rd 2021 to put together their compound, so it just goes to show how much preparation goes into a tournament the size of The Open. To help with the expected big crowds, the platform at the local train station has been extended and a new footbridge constructed to help with spectator flow to and from the course.

Sandwich has a small population of around 5,000 people, and has many fine examples of medieval buildings including the Guild Hall which has a beautifully preserved 16th Century courtroom that can be hired for functions. The Museum at the Guild hall also houses an original copy of the Magna Carta from 1215. It is also very close to the bigger towns of Canterbury, Deal, Dover and Thanet.

With the tournament welcoming most of the worlds top golfers, up to 32,000 spectators a day, and with a weather forecast predicting it will be warm with sunny intervals for all 4 days with a very small chance of rain on any of the days, we should be set for an interesting tournament!