Royal St George's Golf Club

Royal St George's Golf Club

Clubhouse in 2007
Club information
Location Sandwich, Kent, England
Established 1887
Type private
Total holes 18
Tournaments hosted The Open Championship (14 times)
Designed by Dr. Laidlaw Purves
Par 70
Length 7,204 yards (6,587 m)[1]
Map showing the location of Royal St. George's Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent, England
The starters hut at the 1st hole

The Royal St George's Golf Club located in Sandwich, Kent, England is one of the premier golf clubs in the United Kingdom, and one of the courses on The Open Championship rotation. It has hosted 13 Open championships since 1894, when it became the first club outside Scotland to host the championship. Past champions include Darren Clarke, Ben Curtis, Greg Norman, Sandy Lyle, Bill Rogers, Bobby Locke, Reg Whitcombe, Henry Cotton, Walter Hagen (on two different occasions), Harry Vardon (on two different occasions), Jack White and John Henry Taylor. It has also hosted The Amateur Championship on 13 occasions.

The club was founded in 1887 in a setting of wild duneland. Many holes feature blind or partially blind shots, although the unfairness element has been reduced somewhat, after several 20th century modifications. The club's Challenge Trophy dates from 1888 and is one of the oldest trophies in golf; it has been contested annually except for war years. The course also possesses the deepest bunker in championship golf, located on its fourth hole.[2]

Author Ian Fleming used the Royal St. George's course under the name "Royal St. Marks" in his 1959 novel Goldfinger.

Environmental Awareness

Royal St George's is situated on the same stretch of coastline as Royal Cinque Ports Club and neighbouring Prince's Golf Club, both former Open Championship venues.

The famous British Open Royal St George's golf club has been involved in a research informed study undertaken by Dr Graham Earl since 2011, on behalf of Natural England and Canterbury Christ Church University.

The intensive study undertaken between 2011 - 2015 at Sandwich Bay, incorporated all three links golf courses located at Sandwich Bay, including Royal Cinque Ports golf club and Princes golf club. These courses were involved in a Eco-hydrological study, focusing upon the chemical composition of the groundwater, historical analysis of vegetation composition and management trials looking at site-specific management regime's which encourage native sward development.

Management trials indicated that burning as a management regime promoted an increase in native swards. A combination of the research informed outcomes and enthusiasm for the study by Head Greenkeeper Paul Larsen, has helped to revert in a positive way the SSSI status at Royal St Georges golf club, in an unprecedented three-year period.

This burning management regime provides a fast quick burn, therefore not affecting the rooting zone, (in particular the rare orchids which resides predominantly at Sandwich Bay), but does remove the thatch layer removing generalist competitive plant/grass species. The burning treatment that can be viewed between October - February, was undertaken to reduce the sward thatch and encourage native grey dune plant species, of which has been very successful and the site now hosts one of the largest abundance of orchids in a single site, managed for amenity.

Full publication details of the study can be viewed via the following link:

The Open Championship

Royal St George's has hosted The Open Championship on 14 occasions since 1894.

  Year  WinnerScoreWinner's
share (£)
R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
1894 England J.H. Taylor 1st8480818132630
1899 Jersey Harry Vardon 3rd7676817731030
1904 Scotland Jack White8075726929650
1911 Jersey Harry Vardon 5th74747580303 PO50
1922 United States Walter Hagen 1st7673797230075
1928 United States Walter Hagen 3rd75737272292100
1934 England Henry Cotton 1st67657279283100
1938 England Reg Whitcombe71717578295100
1949 South Africa Bobby Locke 1st69766870283 (−5)300
1981 United States Bill Rogers72666771276 (−4)25,000
1985 Scotland Sandy Lyle68717370282 (+2)65,000
1993 Australia Greg Norman 2nd66686964267 (−13)100,000
2003 United States Ben Curtis72727069283 (−1)700,000
2011 Northern Ireland Darren Clarke68686970 275 (−5)900,000


Royal St. George's Golf Club[1]
Tee Rating/Slope 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Championship 4424262394964161765734574103635 41224237945754549316142445635697204
Par 443443544 35 434454344 35 70
Medal 4113851954154161524904193733256 37121536144253343616141843733746630
Weekday 3993501804124061424643953663114 35120234042050743515039242932266340
Handicap 10616281814412 9715313117511


  1. 1 2 "Scorecard". Royal St. George's Golf Club. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  2. The World Atlas of Golf, second, revised edition, by Herbert Warren Wind, Charles Price, and Peter Thomson, London 1988, Mitchell Beazley publishers.

Coordinates: 51°16′26″N 1°22′01″E / 51.274°N 1.367°E / 51.274; 1.367

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