Royal St George’s was the first club to stage the Open outside Scotland. It has hosted golf's oldest major 14 times, the most of any course outside St Andrews. It has pedigree. Extreme pedigree.
You feel it walking through the clubhouse doors. Shimmering polished wood, Chesterfields, club crests on napkins, framed scorecards and signed pictures, jackets and ties. These ingredients give the club an esteemed air.
But simply throwing in some fancy furniture and adding an old school aesthetic isn’t going to win over the world’s golfers. To achieve that, a club has tick every box. How does RSG do it? Read on.
Plonked on the Kent coast by Prince’s and Royal Cinque Ports, Royal St George’s is revered as one of Old Blighty’s best links tests.
Founded in 1887, the brutish layout has been made slightly more playable over the years - it still boasts the deepest bunker in Championship golf, though, on the fourth.
Sandwich, Kent - easily accessible by car and train.
We stayed at Prince’s Lodge, which has large rooms with stunning views.
This is not a nine out, nine in layout. It’s more of a circular, swirling route, with only a few holes running along the coast.
It feels spacious, not regarding size of fairways or greens necessarily, but overall.
There is a mix of ‘bomber’ holes - when you take driver and have space to miss slightly - and also risk and reward numbers, when an iron would better serve your needs.
This mix elevates the design, and will keep any golfer interested. At no point can you take your foot off the gas, but should you plot your way around there are scores to be had.
The fairways are crumpled, like a kicked rug. Mounds are aplenty, willing to take your ball off in any direction and rarely leaving players with a flat lie.
The bunkering is world class. Some large and deep, others smaller but still just as gnarly - this defence is the most prominent.
The greens are just as you would expect - large and undulating. Many have slick run-offs requiring precise marksmanship.
While there are other links courses that feature more coastline, there are still superb vantage points throughout, affording stunning views of the surrounding area.
One of the best we have to offer. A characterful links test steeped in history and alure.
Royal St George’s has utlised the natural land, forging a earthy, natural aesthetic.
Each hole poses a distinctly different test that will push and pull every facet of your game, examining whether you will break.
Head to the Royal St George’s website for more.