Royal St George's Golf Club
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Clubhouse in 2007
|Location||Sandwich, Kent, England|
|Tournaments hosted||The Open Championship (14 times)|
|Designed by||Laidlaw Purves|
|Length||7,204 yards (6,587 m)|
The Royal St George's Golf Club located in Sandwich, Kent, England, is a golf club in the United Kingdom and one of the courses on The Open Championship rotation and is the only Open rota golf course to be located in Southern England. 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 occasions), Harry Vardon (on two occasions), Jack White and John Henry Taylor. It has also hosted The Amateur Championship on 13 occasions.
The club was founded by the surgeon Laidlaw Purves 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 course also possesses the deepest bunker in championship golf, located on its fourth hole.
The Club's Challenge Cup dates from 1888 and is one of the oldest amateur events in golf. It has been contested annually over 36 holes except during the war years. An 19-year-old Jack Nicklaus won the tournament in 1959 shortly before going on to win the first of his two U.S. Amateur titles. 
The course 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 an Eco-hydrological study, focusing upon the chemical composition of the groundwater, historical analysis of vegetation composition and management trials looking at site-specific management regimes 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 reside predominantly at Sandwich Bay), but does remove the thatch layer removing generalist competitive plant/grass species. The burning treatment, which can be viewed between October and February, was undertaken to reduce the sward thatch and encourage native grey dune plant species and has been very successful. The site now hosts one of the largest abundance of orchids in a single site, managed for amenity.
The Open Championship
Royal St George's has hosted The Open Championship on 14 occasions since 1894 and is due to hold the Open in 2021.
|1894||J.H. Taylor 1st||84||80||81||81||326||30|
|1899||Harry Vardon 3rd||76||76||81||77||310||30|
|1911||Harry Vardon 5th||74||74||75||80||303 PO||50|
|1922||Walter Hagen 1st||76||73||79||72||300||75|
|1928||Walter Hagen 3rd||75||73||72||72||292||100|
|1934||Henry Cotton 1st||67||65||72||79||283||100|
|1949||Bobby Locke 1st||69||76||68||70||283 (−5)||300|
|1981||Bill Rogers||72||66||67||71||276 (−4)||25,000|
|1985||Sandy Lyle||68||71||73||70||282 (+2)||65,000|
|1993||Greg Norman 2nd||66||68||69||64||267 (−13)||100,000|
|2003||Ben Curtis||72||72||70||69||283 (−1)||700,000|
|2011||Darren Clarke||68||68||69||70||275 (−5)||900,000|
- Note: For multiple winners of The Open Championship, superscript ordinal identifies which in their respective careers.
- "Scorecard". Royal St. George's Golf Club. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- The World Atlas of Golf, second, revised edition, by Herbert Warren Wind, Charles Price, and Peter Thomson, London 1988, Mitchell Beazley publishers.
- "Royal St George's Golf Club, Sandwich, Facts and Figures, Golf Today, 2011".
- Media related to Royal St George's Golf Club at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Golf Club Atlas Guide
- Course Guide at Opengolf
- Coverage of 2011 Open on PGA.com
- Eco-hydrological interactions within a sand dune system in South East England, CReaTE