The 2020 Open: a hole-by-hole guide to The Royal St George’s course

As the world’s best golfers get ready to contend for the Claret Jug at Kent’s Royal St George’s, we look at the ins and outs of this iconic 18-hole course.

The 149th Open will be held at Royal St George’s, a scenic stretch of dunes along the Kent coast. It has a long and intimate history with the championship – the 2020 Open will be the 15th time Royal St George’s has hosted the event. The first time, in 1894, was also the first Open held on English soil.

Experience the 149th Open with Corinthian Sports

If you’re attending the Open as part of a Corinthian Sports hospitality package, you’ll have an enviable position at the heart of the action.

Our guest area is located in the Spectator Village a short walk from the 1st and 18th holes of the course, so you’re centre stage for both the beginning and the conclusion of the event. You’ll have easy access to the course and big-screen coverage of every swing, chip and putt, with breakfast, lunch and a complimentary bar on hand.

Here’s what to look out for at each tee as the day unfolds.

Hole 1 – par 4, 442 yards
Known for its challenging aspect, Hole 1 is a demanding starting point thanks to the combination of a downward slope and a tendency to catch the wind.

Hole 2 – par 4, 426 yards
As well as a dogleg corner to be cut, this hole has multiple bunkers players must contend with. The green tilts from back to front.

Hole 3 – par 3, 239 yards
Although it famously has no bunkers, the sea breezes that blow left to right across the fairway of Hole 3 present their own challenges.

Hole 4 – par 4, 496 yards
Rumoured to have the deepest bunker in championship golf, this hole is both long and challenging with strong winds frequently hampering shots.

Hole 5 – par 4, 416 yards
One of Royal St George’s most scenic spots. Hole 5 offers a long vista over the dunes and sea and a left-hand dogleg to keep contenders on their toes.

Hole 6: The Maiden – par 3, 176 yards
A natural amphitheatre that offers spectators a thrilling up-close view of the green. While at ground-level it’s sheltered by dunes, balls hit too high can be caught in cross-winds with unpredictable results.

Hole 7 – par 5, 573 yards
A left-hand dogleg at the start of this long stretch gives way to a fairway that’s overlooked by high dunes on the left – another potential viewing spot.

Hole 8 – par 4, 457 yards
Players must hit into the wind in order to progress up the fairway on hole 8, only to be met with uneven ground on the putting green. It could be a make-or-break spot.

Hole 9 – par 4, 420 yards
Teeing off here, players are met with grassy terrain which can obscure the view. Once on the fairway, they’ll need to watch out for a tricky combination of cross-winds and awkwardly positioned bunkers.

Hole 10 – par 4, 412 yards
A left-hand dogleg from the tee is played into the wind, making for a tough approach to the flat, high ‘infinity’ green which requires careful judgement of distance.

Hole 11 – par 3, 242 yards
It may look short and sweet, but this is a challenging run uphill to a green which is flanked by lurking bunkers.

Hole 12 – par 4, 379 yards
This may be the last point on the course at which a birdie can be achieved, although it’s by no means guaranteed. Cavernous bunkers and an awkward fairway give way to a fairly flat green.

Hole 13 – par 4, 457 yards
Players must judge their distances carefully here to avoid what feels like an obstacle course of bunkers along the fairway. There’s more care to be taken on the green where the ridged ground could result in more putts than expected.

Hole 14 – par 5, 545 yards
This daunting-looking hole has its fairway split in two by a stream (nicknamed the ‘Suez Canal’). Once that obstacle is cleared, players must navigate two tricky mid-fairway bunkers that guard the way to the green.

Hole 15 – par 4, 493 yards
Royal St. George’s testing cross-winds come into play once more at Hole 15, demanding a powerful and determined drive. A banked fairway and saucer-shaped green ramp up the difficulty.

Hole 16 – par 3, 161 yards
This short and relatively straightforward run could come as a respite after Hole 15, but not if the winds are blowing against the player. A back-to-front sloping green banked by eight bunkers could catch out the unwary.

Hole 17 – par 4, 424 yards
Driving into the wind once again, players will need careful judgement to navigate the short, wide green with its steep banked approach at Hole 17.

Hole 18 – par 4, 456 yards
Competitors will need to conserve their stamina for a final challenge that combines some of the trickiest elements of the preceding 17 holes. A fairway with undulating terrain, play against the wind and a small green all stand in the way of that final putt.