Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 9
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Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 9
Bunkers protect the ninth green at Royal St. George's Golf Club in Kent. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Images
Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 1
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Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 1
Stay out of "The Kitchen" -- a valley that dissects the first fairway -- at Royal St. George's Golf Club to hit this green in regulation. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 3
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Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 3
A ridge cuts through the center of the second green at Royal St. George's Golf Club in Kent, England. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 4
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Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 4
The fourth fairway bends left to a tough green at Royal St. George's Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 5
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Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 5
A gap between several dunes reveals the fifth green at Royal St. George's Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 6
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Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 6
A view from behind the sixth green reveals the subtle dunescape at Royal St. George's Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 8
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Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 8
A section of shaggy rough guards the eighth green at Royal St. George's Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 10
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Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 10
The 10th green sits in the sky, the highest point at Royal St. George's Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 11
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Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 11
The par-3 11th hole at Royal St. George's Golf Club plays toward Pegwell Bay. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Royal St. George's golf course - 12th
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Royal St. George's golf course - 12th
The 12th fairway doglegs right to this green at Royal St. George's Golf Club in Kent, England. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 16
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Royal St. George's Golf Club - hole 16
At 161 yards, the 16th hole is the shortest par 3 at Royal St. George's Golf Club in Kent, England. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Royal St. George's Golf Club - clubhouse
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Royal St. George's Golf Club - clubhouse
The clubhouse at Royal St. George's Golf Club has a nice patio to enjoy on summer days. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Royal St. George's Golf Club - dunes
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Royal St. George's Golf Club - dunes
The dunes of Royal St. George's Golf Club are most striking around the fifth hole. Courtesy of Royal St. George's G.C.
Royal St. George's Golf Club - dunes on 6
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Royal St. George's Golf Club - dunes on 6
The sixth green at Royal St. George's Golf Club sits in a bowl surrounded by dunes. Courtesy of Royal St. George's G.C.
Royal St. George's Golf Club - aerial view on 8
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Royal St. George's Golf Club - aerial view on 8
The eighth hole at Royal St. George's Golf Club looks spectacular from above. Courtesy of Royal St. George's G.C.

Royal St. George's Golf Club: A historic Open venue along the southeast coast of England

SANDWICH, Kent, England -- Host of 14 Open Championships, Royal St. George's Golf Club rates among the most historic venues on the Open rota.

Only three courses -- the Old Course at St. Andrews , Prestwick and Muirfield -– have held more Opens than Royal St. George's.

Darren Clarke won the most recent Open at the all-male club in 2011, joining Harry Vardon (1899, 1911), Walter Hagen (1922, 1928) and Greg Norman (1993) as memorable champions.

Laidlaw Purves founded Royal St. George's in 1887 on Pegwell Bay along England's southeast coast several hour's drive from London. Its layout has evolved into a twisting maze where holes rarely run in the same direction. The front nine roams through bigger dunes -- especially the thrilling stretch from holes 4-6 -- but it's the tougher back nine where titles are secured. Dustin Johnson finished in a tie for second in 2011 after hitting a shot out of bounds on "Suez," the punishing par 5 at no. 14. Three bunkers form a defensive wall fronting the green at no. 15, the course's hardest handicap hole. Thomas Bjorn lost a Claret Jug in 2003 by taking three swings to get out of a deep trap near the par-3 16th green. A valley short of the final green is named "Duncan's Hollow" after George Duncan failed to get up and down at the 1922 Open.

After golf, players don jackets and ties for an exquisite lunch inside the clubhouse, a tradition served only at the United Kingdom's finest clubs.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
Related Links
Visiting London? Make the brief journey to the southeast coast of England to play golf in Kent! You can choose between three links that have hosted the Open Championship: Royal St. George's in Sandwich, Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club in Deal, and Prince's Golf Club.
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Royal St. George's Golf Club: A historic Open venue along the southeast coast of England
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