Monday, March 30, 2020
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Royal St George’s Golf Club

Hello & welcome to another episode of BirdieBarty on Tour.
I’m invited to play the Royal St. George’s golf club, host to the 149th Open Championship.

Through this article you will find more information about the course history, the holes and the Open Championship.

Warm up:
Leaving the Netherlands at 20:00 local time for the 02:00 ferry from Dunkirk to Dover, I arrived at 05:30 in the morning at the Royal St. George’s golf club, host to the 149th Open Championship.


It was a beautiful morning when I arrived. The sun Is getting up and there was that “spooky” fog floating around just above the grass. I like that too in the morning when the grass is still wet and it has that sparkly water spots on top of the grass. It was just an amazing view. It’s not a dream, but it was reality of a dream coming to life of every golfer.
At that time of the day only the greenkeepers were out on the course. Wondering what I was doing this early (or that late perhaps as the use to say in the UK) on the golf course.
I noticed the clubhouse (which you can’t see during the event as the tribunes are build around it) was open. Making my way towards the locker room and spotted already “Tiger Woods” locker.
During my warmup I was waiting for the caddiemaster to arrive and making my way towards the putting green.
Back in 2003 I was here with my dad and I could recognized the shapes of the chipping green / putting green. After some short game warmup it was time to report to the caddiemaster and slowly making my way towards the 1st tee box.

The holes:

Making my way towards the 1st tee box I felt that amazing feeling of walking on a Championship course with fantastic weather and just lucky & proud feeling to be here.
So after reporting to the caddiemaster I walked towards the 1st teebox. During the warmup I already spotted the white house next to the 1st teebox. The “eye catcher” too in the open.

Hole 1: Par 4,  442 yards
After the received the clearance from the official starter we were allowed to play off the Championship tee’s. My hybrid came out of the bag and thinking back at the 2003 British Open. 16th years ago I stood here with my dad and here is where all my golf started from. Remembering Tiger Woods “dug hooked” his 2 iron of the tee (never found his ball back) I was making practice swings. As the right part is O.B. I lined up on the right side of the teebox and aiming for the left side of the fairway. Hitting my hybrid 252 yards of the tee center fairway. (Boom, Tiger Woods!!! Beat that!) Leaving myself a 190 yards into the green. Short left were some bunkers so I had perfect angle to play the green from the left side of the fairway. After a two put PAR I was pleased with that start.

Hole 2: Par 4,  426 yards
The 2nd hole is a dogleg PAR 4 to the left with the first part towards the fairway O.B. towards the right.
The fairway is  roughly starting at 240 yards (so long tee shot required to carry the heavy rough). Again hybrid out of the bag and hitting a hard draw in there just left me short of the fairway bunkers on the left part of the fairway.
As the fairway slopes towards the green (left to right) you don’t need to hit a approach carry distance. Remember we are playing links golf right, so let’s play smart! Gripped down middle iron and punched it into the green. Again 2 put PAR. (LEVEL after 2)

Hole 3: Par 3, 239 yards
The 3rd is a long par 3. The green is well protected by heavy rough. And guess what another longer carry is required of 220 yards minimum! After that the green slopes up the hill. I left my 4 iron way to short resulting in chip – two put (bogey)

Hole 4: Par 4, 496 yards
The 4th is a bit funny. I use to call it “snake hole” as the hole slopes in an S shaped form. Again long carry required of the tee and any left for the approach is dead! So stay right/center green!

Hole 5, Par 4 416 yards
The 5th hole can be tough as you need to hit a precision shot of the tee. The fairway runs out at 260 yards and the start of the nose of the mound is only 205 so for me I hit a long 4 iron of the tee. After placement I had a 6 iron into the green for distance but a tiny breeze made me to take a 5 iron. Grip down on it and punched it towards the right part of the green. (the right side of the fairway is O.B.)

Hole 6, Par 3 176 yards
Looking down the 6th par 3. You can’t miss the green at any angle. Front and right are bunkers so are left and behind. Again a minimum carry required of 165 yards to hit front green.
There are some big slopes in the green from front to rear so make sure double readings on that green!
 
Hole 7, Par 5 573 yards
Tee shot 7 is a blind shot. You will need to carry your tee shot for at least 240 yards to carry the first mound. From there the fairway is very small and tight. Standing on the tee with the feeling: Grip it and Rip it! I carried the right bunker which is one 267 to front and 279 to carry left me only a hybrid into the green for 2nd shot. Again if you are not a long hitter just make sure you stay on the fairway. You don’t want to miss the short stuff on this tight fairway here!

Hole 8, Par 4 457 yards
Hole 8 is a dog leg towards the right. First tee shot has to be around 250/270 to leave yourself a controlled club into the green. The fairway runs out at 326 yards but the green is tapped away compared

Hole 9, Par 4 410 yards
The 9th is a long par 4 with some deep potbunkers on the right and front left of the green.
The back nine of the Royal St. Georges will be published soon! Stay tuned for the latest updates.

Back Nine:
Hole 10, Par 4 412 yards
Hole 11, Par 3, 242 yards
Hole 12, Par 4, 379 yards
Hole 13, Par 4 457 yards
Hole 14, Par 5 545 yards
Hole 15, Par 4, 493 yards
Hole 16, Par 3, 161 yards
Hole 17, Par 4 424 yards
Hole 18, Par 4 456 yards

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