Royal St George's Hole by Hole Guide
Royal St Georges in Sandwich, Kent was the host of the 2011 Open Championship. Ben Curtis was the winner the last time the Open came to the south of England in 2003, on what is a long and tough course. Par seventy, there are four par threes and just the two par fives, but the course still measures over 7000 yards. As with any links course, accuracy off the tee is all important, although the rough is not as penal as it was eight years ago. We've put together a hole by hole guide below, to give you an idea of the layout of the course and which players that might suit before placing your bet.
Royal St George's Scorecard
Total: 7211 yards - Par 70
2011 British Open Hole by Hole Guide
Hole 1 - 444 yards par 4
The first hole is a 444 par four, with a narrow fairway and a green guarded by three pot bunkers to the front. The fairway has been altered since 2003, where only 33% of players were able to hold their drive on the fairway due to the undulations. A flatter landing area should see that percentage rise, but it's important to be on the fairway to fly the ball all the way to the green on their approach.
Hole 2 - 417 yards par 4
Hole two is another par four, doglegging left with two fairway bunkers which leave the players with a decision to make off the tee. The bunkers won't be able to be carried, so the pros will have to make a decision whether to lay up or drive to the right of the hazards, leaving around a nine iron approach shot to a green with no bunkers.
Hole 3 - 240 yards par 3
The third hole is the first of four par threes. At 240 yards, it's a tough test, especially if into the wind. The green is narrow and if a long iron or wood is to be played the players will have to be ultra accurate. There are no bunkers but the green has a split level with a run off area on the left.
Hole 4 - 495 yards par 4
The fourth hole is a tough par four, nearly 500 yards and fraught with danger. A blind tee shot greets the players with a huge fairlway bunker ready to catch any short and right drives. It's 260 yards to reach the faiway and the trouble doesn't stop there, as the green slopes away off the back where there is out of bounds not too far away. A par is always a good score here!
Hole 5 - 419 yards par 4
The fifth is another par four and another that doglegs left. With bunkers set at the turn, players will be advised to lay up and play to the unguarded green, rather than trying to bomb their drives over the corner.
Hole 6 - 178 yards par 3
The second par three is a lot shorter than the first and the pros will be playing anything from an eight iron to a five iron depending on the wind. The green is well guarded by four tough bunkers, but the surface itself is pretty flat so an accurate tee shot could well be rewarded with birdie.
Hole 7 - 564 yards par 5
The first par five, the players will be eyeing up a birdie chance. The wind tends to follow on the seventh and a good drive can mean a long iron or wood to the green in two. The green is guarded by three bunkers but they're not too tricky to get up and down from, so the pros won't mind putting their second shots in there for a chance at birdie.
Hole 8 - 453 yards par 4
The field will need to play driver on the eighth to get far enough up the fairway to play a low approach into a figure of eight green. There are two bunkers guarding the green but the thick rough just off the edge will cause the pros more trouble.
Hole 9 - 412 yards par 4
A shorter par four completes the front nine. A good drive will leave the field with a pitch to a lumpy green with some dangerous run off areas. The last four winners of the Open here all birdied this hole in their final round!
Hole 10 - 415 yards par 4
A relatively straightforward par four sets the players off on their back nine. The fairway bunker is not in play from the fairway, but with the fairway very bumpy, it's likely the players will face an awkward stance for their approach to a green well guarded by pot hole bunkers.
Hole 11 - 245 yards par 3
Another long par three awauts the players at the eleventh. A long iron to a small green guarded by five bunkers. The green will throw tee shots off to the left at a certain point, so players will need to pick a point on the green and stick to that.
Hole 12 - 381 yards par 4
A short par four which isn't as easy as it looks. It's vital to land on the fairway as the green slopes front to back and can push the ball off to a big area on the left. Players are likely to play a fairway wood to ensure good position from the tee.
Hole 13 - 459 yards par 4
The thirteenth is a very tough hole. An accurate drive is required for the long carry and to avoid the four fairway bunkers as if they are found it's unlikely that a player will be able to reach the green in two. The green is narrow with a hogs back running through it, making putts very difficult.
Hole 14 - 547 yards par 5
The second and tougher of the two par fives. There's a ditch which runs across the fairway at 33 yards, which could trouble the longer hitters. There's also out of bounds all the way down the right hand side and two bunkers about 70 yards from the green which come into play with your second shot.
Hole 15 - 496 yards par 4
A really tough long par four, with danger from the tee with five fairway bunkers guarding the drive, with just 28 yards between at the narrowist point. You also need to be far enough down to fly the three bunkers that guard just short of the green.
Hole 16 - 163 yards par 3
The last par three and the green is guarded by seven bunkers, one of which cost Thomas Bjorn the title here in 2003. Players will look to find the dancefloor but won't get too greedy as anything too far right will feed off into 'that' bunker!
Hole 17 - 426 yards par 4
A straightforward looking hole, but players will need to play their second shot short of the green to run on if wind behind. There are four bunkers guarding the green, with the one on the left at the back the hardest to get up and down from.
Hole 18 - 459 yards par 4
A tough drive to finish with, the bunkers down the left push players to favour the right, but that brings the front right trap into play. Anything pulled too far left will end up in a grassy dell by the green which is a tough up and down to finish with.