Royal St George’s course guide: Toughest holes, stats and facts and how to play 1-18

Dustin Johnson's hole-in-one, prize money, the latest odds, past winners and this year's yardage are all covered in our look at the famous Sandwich links.

Best Bet

Xander Schauffele to win at 18/1

Par at Royal St George's Opens since 1981

2021 - 7189 (Par 70)

2011 - 7211 (Par 70)

2003 - 7106 (Par 71)

1993 - 6860 (Par 70)

1985 - 6857 (Par 70)

1981 - 6860 (Par 70)

Nightmares at Royal St George's

1st - Jerry Kelly took an 11 here in his opening round in 2003

4th - Nicholas Godin racked up a 10 in round two in 1985

14th - Henrik Stenson needed 11 swishes in his closing round here in 2011

Royal St George's toughest holes

14th - this par 5 played to an average of 5.30 in 1985, 5.19 in 2003 and 5.07 in 2011

18th - the closing par 4 played to an average of 4.62 in 1985

The toughest holes in 2011

3rd - the par 3 played to an average of 3.25

5th - the par 4 played to an average of 4.11

Last five winners and scores

2011 Darren Clarke (Northern Ireland) 275 (-5)

2003 Ben Curtis (USA) 283 (-1)

1993 Greg Norman (Australia) 267 (-13)

1985 Sandy Lyle (Scotland) 282 (+2)

1981 Bill Rogers (USA) 276 (-4)

Total Times Played: 15

Lowest rounds

63 Nick Faldo (1993), Payne Stewart (1993)

First prize at Royal St George's Opens

2011 - £900,000

2003 - £700,000

1993 - £100,000

1985 - £65,000

1981 - £25,000

Hole in Ones since 1981

2011 Dustin Johnson (16th hole, R1)

2011 Tom Watson (6th hole, R2)

1981 Sam Torrance (16th hole, R4)

1981 Roger Chapman (16th hole, R4)

1981 Gordon J Brand (16th hole, R2)

Hole-by-hole guide

1st, 445 yards, par 4: Out of bounds right. The green is defended by three bunkers at the front and slopes from front to back, demanding a high approach to hold the green.

2nd, 421 yards, par 4: Out of bounds continues down the right on this dogleg left. Two bunkers are cut into the hill on the inside of the angle and the green falls away on all sides.

3rd, 239 yards, par 3: First of the four short holes was lengthened by 30 yards for the 2011 Open and with a narrow two-tier green cut into the hill can be a real brute.

4th, 491 yards, par 4: Changed from a par five in 2003 to a par four for 2011. The heavily contoured green is well protected with Out of bounds over the back.

5th, 422 yards, par 4: John Daly has driven the green over the dunes, but new mounding short right makes it less enticing. Bunkers down the left, but none round the green.

6th, 174 yards, par 3: The tee shot is to a long two-tiered green, running at a diagonal to the tee and bunkered on all four sides.

7th, 566 yards, par 5: Has played the easiest hole on the course in the past - with not a single double bogey in 1993 and 25 of the 27 eagles that week - but a new tee in 2011 added 32 yards.

8th, 450 yards, par 4: Used to be a par three, but changed to an uphill dogleg right. The hole, now usually played into wind, requires an accurate uphill drive avoiding bunkers at 290 yards on the right.

9th, 412 yards, par 4: A bunker known as The Corset pinches in from the right and the humps and hollows are pronounced. A new tee for 2011 added 24 yards, while the green drops away steeply to the right.

10th, 415 yards, par 4: A drive down the left side of the fairway, avoiding one bunker, gives the best line of approach to a long narrow elevated green.

11th, 238 yards, par 3: The one back-nine hole to be played directly towards the sea and demanding in the extreme when there is any wind. Three bunkers left and two right with a two-tier green.

12th, 379 yards, par 4: Downwind, players may challenge the green from the tee, but a green which naturally pushes approaches left and into swales adds risk to a bolder approach.

13th, 456 yards, par 4: The drive has to be threaded between bunkers and the approach is played to the longest green on the course with a ridge running down its spine and out of bounds at the back.

14th, 547 yards, par 5: Dustin Johnson fell victim here when challenging strongly in 2011. Out of bounds all the way down the right and the 'Suez Canal' across the fairway at 330 yards. To add to the dangers the green was moved back and closer to the fence.

15th, 496 yards, par 4: Lengthened by 21 yards in 2011, but still a par four with five bunkers to be negotiated off the tee and three more in front of a green which falls away to the right.

16th, 162 yards, par 3: Thomas Bjorn, two ahead at the time, took three to get out of the bunker on the right in the final round in 2003 and finished a shot behind Ben Curtis. In 1967 Tony Jacklin made the first televised hole-in-one here.

17th, 426 yards, par 4: The approach is to an elevated green with a severe false front, which is defended by bunkers on the right and a swale to the left.

18th, 450 yards, par 4: The drive from an elevated tee will give players a panoramic view of the packed stands. The right hand side of the green is protected by a deep bunker on the front right corner but falls away on the left into a steep swale named 'Duncan's Hollow'.

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