Founded in 1887 and intended by its founder, Dr William Laidlaw Purves, to be a rival to St Andrew’s in the South of England, St George’s is consistently ranked amongst the leading courses in the World. The Club occupied a unique place in the history of golf, because Royal St. George’s was the first place outside of Scotland that The Open Championship was played in 1894. It has hosted 14 Open Championships overall, with the 15th time being in 2020, hosting the 149th Open Championship. To play this course, all golfers must have a handicap of 18 or below.
The course breaks from convention right from the first few holes in terms of layout; each nine is broadly circular, instead of the traditional out and back layout. Lacking trees, the undulating countryside that makes up much of the topography in Kent also characterises the wild flowers, dune grasses, and sandy terrain that is found at Royal St. George’s Golf Club. Its commanding views over Pegwell Bay enable the golf course to be established as a classic seaside links course, despite not being in Scotland or Ireland.
Royal St George’s has some unique features that sets it apart from other golf courses and enforces it position as a dominant golf club within the British Isles. Thatched roofs make every building easily distinguishable, whilst the red cross of St George on the flags, combined with the UK’s deepest bunker on the 4th hole all make the Club renowned.
Your short game is where it counts at Royal St. George’s; the greens can undulate for or against flag positions, whilst deep pot bunkers often prove to be the bane of scorecards. Though less windy than the seaside courses of Scotland or Ireland, Royal St. George’s and the links courses of Kent all share a challenging terrain that comes in the form of undulating plains which means that a flat lie is unlikely on any hole. This is exacerbated by the long grass on either side; the only safe shots are shorter, lower and precise: characterising a true links golf course. One of the most sought-after traits of play on Royal St. George’s is the ability to control and shape a golf shot so that it uses the undulations in a fairway or green; scorecards will reflect one’s ability to use the terrain rather than be punished by them.
A great old-style dining room awaits patrons of the Club, which has a reputation for serving some of the best food available in any golf course across the British Isles. In terms of practice facilities, they have a putting green, alongside a pitching green and practice bunker. All are located nearby the clubhouse and first tee for ease of access. The club has a resident PGA professional and a Pro shop for all your tangible golfing needs.
Caddies at Royal St. Geroge’s are self-employed and can be requested at least a week before play directly with the club. Only wide-wheeled trolleys may be used on the course, and those too can be hired directly from the Professional; golf carts may only be hired on production of a doctor’s certificate and must be booked in advance.