GRADE “A” ARCHITECTURE
Royal St. George’s (1887)
5th Hole / 416 Yards / Par-4
Architect: Laidlaw Purves
It was only a matter of time before Royal St. George’s, the storied club located in Sandwich, would be extended another invitation to host The Open Championship.
In 2020, The Open returns for the 15th time. The design is blessed with a series of natural dunes — most especially on the outward nine — which provides the fullest range of all sorts of bounces of the golf ball. The close proximity to The English Channel also provides for an eyeful of scenery — especially when Mother Nature cooperates. On those days when it doesn’t — be ready to be tested thoroughly.
Initially, the hole was actually a par-3 but changed about 25 years into the club’s existence when an area of land was included for a new tee position
The 5th is protected by a series of bunkers on the left side — pity the hapless chap who errs and finds any of them.
There is a gap in the dunes that provides a view of the bunkerless green. Getting to that position is the ideal location. The putting surface slopes to the right and it pays to be precise with one’s approach as falloffs to the left and in the rear are more pronounced.
When the 5th is played with nary a breeze occurring — the hole gives the appearance as being rather benign. However, when the breeze is blowing — especially crosswinds which are not uncommon — the test becomes more exact.
The strongest of players can attempt to hit a tee shot over the corner — but the probability for success is often a risky situation given the unpredictability of how the ball reacts when landing. Selecting the right golf club at the tee and knowing how to marry distance and trajectory of the shot is crucial for success at the 5th. WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?