As the 2011 Golf Open fast approaches, the R & A have announced changes to the course which will considerably challenge the big hitters and allow for an exciting finish. The Royal St George’s golf club in Sandwich, Kent, welcomes the world’s top golfers in July, for one of the biggest events in the golfing calendar, which will promise to be one of the toughest yet.
The par of the course is being dropped from 71 to 70, despite an additional 100 yards being added to the course. However, one of the most significant changes to the course will be the changing of the 497-yard par-5 fourth hole, with its infamous gaping bunker. It is due to be shortened by two yards, altering it to a 4 par hole instead. Other changes to the course include a lengthening of the par-3 hole by 30 yards, bringing it up to 240 yards, along with an extension of the seventh hole by 32 yards and the ninth hole by 24 yards – an all round difficulty for even the most discerning golfer.
However, every cloud has a silver lining; the landing area at the first hole will be widened by 12 yards – a consolation to golfer Tiger Woods, who in 2003, lost a ball with his first shot at Royal St. George’s and took a triple-bogey 7. The fairways at the 17th and 18th holes will also be made easier to hit, after less than 30 per cent of the field managed to hit those fairways in 2003. The R & A have strongly emphasised that this is nothing to do with Tiger’s previous misfortunes, stating: “Tiger’s lost ball was not an influence – it was the overall statistic of 27-28 percent,” (Peter Dawson, Royal & Ancient Club chief executive.)
Whatever the real reasoning, this year’s tournament guarantees to separate the men from boys, so come along for the ride. For more information regarding golf accommodation, visit the 2011 golf open section (http://www.mulberrycottages.com/golf-open/cottages/?range=all) for our beautiful range of high spec self-catering cottages.