July 24, 2014
After spending a good part of my first week in England in the northern part of the country, and a few days in London, I made the drive to the southern coast for both Royal St. George's and Rye. The drive to the south of England is a pretty neat sightseeing tour and I ended up spending the night in Canterbury, about 20 minutes from Royal St. George's GC. In college, I had written a paper on the Canterbury Tales and was excited to do a little sightseeing of one of the oldest cities in England. I was not disappointed. My only regret was I didn't build a full day into sightseeing around town. If you find yourself in the area, I highly recommend at least one day of sightseeing.
Here are a few photos from my walk-a-bout:
|The Best Western Hotel I stayed in for the night.|
|A neat clock hanging from the side of a building.|
|A city street in Canterbury.|
|An old church still in operation.|
|The Canterbury Cathedral.|
|Gate to the Canterbury Cathedral.|
|The Canterbury Cathedral.|
|A shop across the street from the Canterbury Cathedral.|
|The pub where I had several ales!|
|A shop dedicated to the selling and trade of ales!|
Royal St. George's Golf Club is near the town of Sandwich, which is historically what the club has been known as. In numerous books and autobiographies, Sandwich is referred to often as it has always been a championship quality links course. I wish the course would have lived up to the (probably unfair) expectations I had set for it. I know that I am going to get a good deal of disagreement, but I think there are just more interesting courses that should be ranked inside the top 30 of the world.
The course has a ton of history, has hosted more championships than most courses in England, and is ranked highly on the list. However, I didn't find myself enjoying it as much as I thought I should have. Perhaps it was the very windy day or perhaps it was the very unfriendly staff member in the pro shop, but it was a fairly disappointing experience. That isn't to say that the course is not well maintained. It certainly is top notch. On a positive note, half way through the round, I met Kelly and Scott, two guys from New York. They seemed to have similar impressions of the course. I was able to join Kelly a few months later for some fantastic rounds of golf while on a trip to New York and Long Island.
Before the round, I was able to walk around the clubhouse and take in the rich golf history of the club. Here are some photos in and around the clubhouse.
|A view of the clubhouse as seen from the 18th green.|
|Not only is the English flag prominently flying above the clubhouse, you will also find it n the flagstick of every hole.|
|A view of the clubhouse from the parking lot.|
|The entry foyer of Royal St. George's.|
|A list of the champions and captains of the club.|
|A closer look at the top of the board.|
|Championship golf has been played as early as 1888!|
|A wall of whose who of the history of the club.|
|The Smoking Room.|
|The Writing Room.|
|The gentlemen's locker room at RSGGC.|
Royal St. George's appears numerous times throughout The World's 500 Greatest Golf Holes and receives quite a few accolades. Among them are:
- Hole 4 is listed as one of the top 100 holes in the world.
- Holes 4 and 15 are listed as two of the top 20 par 4s in all of the United Kingdom.
- Holes 15 is listed as two of the top 22 par 5s in all of the United Kingdom.
- Hole 4 is listed as one of the 18 most strategic holes in the world.
- Hole 15 is listed as one of the 18 best holes with a bunker in the world.
- Hole 15 is listed as one of the 18 best links holes in the world.
- Hole 18 is listed as one of the 18 holes in the world that has produced one of the greatest moments in golf history (With a par in 1993, Greg Norman posted a 267, the lowest 72 hole total ever in a major).
|A view of the starter's hut located next to the first tee.|
|A closer look at the starter's hut.|
|A look down the fairway from the 1st tee box.|
|A look towards the first green from 120 yards out.|
|A look onto the 1st green from 35 yards out.|
|The flags found on each hole. It is a very neat touch.|
|A look down the fairway from the 2nd tee box.|
|A view to the right of the tee box.|
|A look at the left fairway bunkers.|
|A look into the 2nd green from 60 yards out.|
|A hut located off the 2nd hole.|
|A look into the green from the 3rd tee box.|
|A closer look at the 3rd green.|
|A look down the fairway from the 4th tee box.|
|A closer look at the two very large bunkers on the 4th hole.|
|The left "smaller" bunker.|
|The photo doesn't do the right bunker justice. It is 40 feet high.|
|A look into the 4th green from 100 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 5th tee box.|
|A look at the series of bunkers on the right side of the fairway looking to eat your drive with no remorse.|
|A look into the 5th green from 80 yards out.|
|A look into the green from the 6th tee box.|
|A look onto the 6th green from just off the side.|
|A look down the fairway from the 7th tee box.|
|A look down the fairway from the top of the hill that hid it from the tee box.|
|A look into the 7th green from 150 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 8th tee box.|
|A look into the 8th green from 200 yards out.|
|A look into the 8th green from 100 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 9th tee box.|
The 410 yard par 4 is a relatively short hole, but with a demanding second shot to a distinctive green. Originally played along the ridge that extends down its right hand side, the fairway now snakes between dunes which can guide off-line drives back to the short grass. Approaches will run in from the right but can be carried away by a drop-off and anything left is likely to end in one of two deep bunkers or face the most delicate of pitches. The green is long and undulating, with breaks of up to eight feet.
|This is just one of many of the signs warning of the public foot paths that criss cross the course in various locations.|
|A look at the bunkers that guard the center of the 9th fairway.|
|A look into the 9th green from just off the green.|
|A look down the fairway from the 10th tee box.|
|A look onto the 10th green from just off the front left side.|
|A look into the green from the 11th tee box.|
The 11th is a long par 3 that plays to 242 yards. The green of what was originally played from behind the 10th as a Par 4 looks inviting, but shots have to be precisely targeted with length at a premium – the right to left slope is likely to feed anything a little short into sand; a little too much and a gully with a sticky bank beyond await at the back. Running up a tier with a significant break, putts are notoriously difficult to read.
|A look down the fairway from the 12th tee box.|
|A look into the 12th green from 75 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 13th tee box.|
The green, with the out-of-bounds fence separating Royal St George’s from Prince’s just beyond, marks the furthest point from the clubhouse.
|A look towards the green just past the blind area where the drive was landed.|
|A look into the 13th green from 100 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 14th tee box.|
|A closer look at the mound that crosses the fairway.|
|A look into the 14th green from 60 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 15th tee box.|
|A look onto the 15th green from 75 yards out.|
|A look onto the green from the 16th tee box.|
|A look down the fairway from the 17th tee box.|
|A look into the 17th green from 150 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 18th tee box.|
|A look into the 18th green from 120 yards out.|