GOLF

What To Expect At Royal St. George’s Golf Club Ahead Of The 149th Open Championship

Jul 14, 2021, 5:34 PM
The Open at Royal St George...
Fans look on over the second hole during a practice round ahead of The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club on July 14, 2021 in Sandwich, England. (Photo by Oisin Keniry/Getty Images)
(Photo by Oisin Keniry/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The oldest golf tournament in the world is returning for the first time since 2019 and the anticipation is sizeable.

Royal St. George’s Golf Club is the venue. Located two and a half hours east of London on the treacherous coastline in Sandwich, Kent.

Royal St. George’s has hosted The Open on 14 previous occasions, however, the 149th Open Championship will likely be different than the tournaments in the past.

Changes At Royal St. George’s

Renovation has been conducted since the last Open Championship at Royal St. George’s in 2011. The fairways have grown wider, certain bunkers around the golf course have been reinstated to their older, more rustic look, and patches of rough that once lined the fairways have been transformed back to their original sandpit.

The weather, as expected, will also play a pivotal role this week.

The golf course has endured a lot of rain in the buildup to the tournament making the surface softer than the majority of Open Championships of the past. Players will look to fly the golf ball further than they traditionally would on a links golf course as they can trust the landing of the golf ball will allow for less roll.

The greens are also going to be more forgiving. Players will be allowed to attack pins they would otherwise have never gone after. Due to the potential of high wind gusts, the greens will sit at 10 on the stint meter.

All of this suggests that the scoring at this year’s Open Championship will be lower than what history suggests it should be.

Avoid The Fairway Bunkers & Rough

But make no mistake, the golf course has teeth and will not be afraid to show it. The rough has not been cut since May and if players cannot find the fairways it will not matter how well they are striking the golf ball.

Pot bunkers separate the rough and the cut grass, bumps and mounds infest the fairways, the rough is long and healthy, and when the wind howls the players will be tested.

The weather suggests that every day at Royal St. George’s this week will involve 25 miles per hour winds and no rain.

Players will be required to hit the golf ball straight and the player who ultimately lifts the Claret Jug late on Sunday afternoon will likely have found more fairways than the rest of his competition.

Balls hit into the rough may never be found again. Balls hit into the fairway pot bunkers will only be advanced 40 to 50 yards. The importance of hitting fairways this week at Royal St. Georges Golf Club must not be underestimated. It is pivotal.

The Open Broadcast

Play begins on Wednesday evening at 11:30 p.m. on Peacock. The Golf Channel will then pick up coverage at 2 a.m. on Thursday and Friday.

NBC holds the rights to the broadcast on the weekend and will begin broadcasting at 5 a.m., concluding at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively on Saturday and Sunday.

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What To Expect At Royal St. George’s Golf Club Ahead Of The 149th Open Championship