The Open Championship, or the British Open, is the oldest of the four major championships held each year in professional golf. First held in 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland, the event is hosted by The R&A, the ruling authority of golf throughout the World (except North America). Harry Vardon of Jersey has won The Open a record six times, with James Braid, John Henry Taylor, Peter Thomson and Tom Watson all having won five times.
When is the Open Championship?
The Open takes place every year and as of 2019, is the final major of the season. The Open is traditionally played in mid-July.
The 149th Open Championship was originally due to be held between the 16th and 19th July 2020, however was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Instead the 149th Open Championship will now be played between the 15th and 18th July 2021.
Where is the Open Championship?
The Open is held in the United Kingdom, being the only major played outside of the United States. The Open is always held on a coastal links golf course, with the Old Course at St Andrews (pictured above) frequently used and considered one of the pinnacles of golf to win there.
A total of 14 courses have hosted the Open Championship, with 10 still actively used as part of the hosting rotaing:
- Old Course at St Andrews – St Andrews, Scotland (Last hosted – 2015)
- Muirfield – Gullane, Scotland (Last hosted – 2013)
- Royal St George’s Golf Club – Sandwich, England (Last hosted – 2011)
- Royal Liverpool Golf Club – Hoylake, England (Last hosted – 2014)
- Royal Troon Golf Club – Troon, Scotland (Last hosted – 2016)
- Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club – Lytham St Annes, England (Last hosted – 2012)
- Carnoustie Golf Links – Carnoustie, Scotland (Last hosted – 2018)
- Royal Portrush Golf Club – Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland (Last hosted – 2019)
- Royal Birkdale Golf Club – Southport, England (Last hosted – 2017)
- Turnberry – South Ayrshire, Scotland (Last hosted – 2009)
The 2020 Open Championship was due to be held at the Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent. Following the cancellation of the 2020 event, Royal St. George’s will now host the 2021 Open Championship, the 15th time the club has hosted the Open.
Address: Clubhouse, Kent, Sandwich CT13 9QB
How do I get there?
The Royal St. George’s Golf Club is located in the small town of Sandwich in Kent, in south-east England.
Air: The closest major international airports to Sandwich are London Gatwick (84 miles) and London Heathrow (106 miles), which serve a number of destinations right across the world. There are several other options for domestic and European travel, including London City (78 miles), London Southend (91 miles) and London Stansted (99 miles).
Bus – There are several local Stagecoach buses that run to Sandwich from the main towns of Kent, including Canterbury (route 43), Deal and Dover (route 80/81) and Ramsgate (route 45). Further information is available on the Stagecoach website here.
Driving/Parking – There is no parking available at the Golf club during The Open, however there is a Park & Ride service available. This can be booked on the official website here, with prices starting at £15 during the Championship if booked in advance or £20 upon arrival, £5 for motorbikes.
- Driving directions from the North – Leave the M25 at Junction 2, after the Dartford Crossing. Follow the A2 and continue onto to the M2, then continue along the A299 at the end of the motorway and follow signs for The Open Park & Ride.
- Driving directions from the West – From the M25, continue onto the M26 at Junction 5, then merge onto the M20 and follow signs for The Open Park & Ride.
- Driving directions from the South – Follow the A20 towards Dover, then follow signs for the A2 on approach to the port. Continue for 2.5 miles, then leave the A2 to join the A256 and follow signs for The Open Park & Ride.
Train – Sandwich Railway station is approximately a 20 minute walk from Royal St. George’s. During The Open, there will be direct services from London St Pancras International, London Charing Cross and London Bridge to Sandwich, passing through Ashford International, Stratford International and Ebbsfleet International. Services from London St Pancras will have a journey time of 90 minutes.
From Ashford, Stratford or Ebbsfleet you can also connect to regional services to Canterbury, Margate and Folkestone. Saindwich railway station is also on the Kent Coast Line, with a service between Ramsgate and Dover.
Where to stay in Kent
An alternative is to camp at the onsite Open Camping Village, with adult places from £40 per person per night, free for Youth Ticket holders (16-24) and Juniors. Further information is available on the official website here.
How do I get tickets to the Open Championship?
For the 2020 tournament, Practice Round tickets started at £15, whilst Championship Day tickets started at £85. Following the cancellation of the 2020 Open, any tickets already purchased will be transferred to the 2021 Open.
Further ticket sales for the 2021 Open have currently been suspended, however any further information will be available on the official Open Championship website here.