Royal St. Georges: Historic and Quirky

by Jeff Skinner

Royal St. Georges gets more than its share of criticism for it “quirkiness” but this course has been around long enough to have plenty of history and excitement.  Here’s a sample of some of the great and not so great moments at Royal St. Georges, or Sandwich as it is called by many.

This is why we love Arnold Palmer: In 1975 at The Penfold PGA at Sandwich, on the par 5 14th (which no one could reach because of the wind) Arnie blasted a driver from the deck to reach it in two and make eagle.  He was the man then and still is.

Goldfinger played here.  That’s right, James Bond author Ian Fleming was a member at Royal St. Georges and he used it as a backdrop for James Bond (Sean Connery, the real Bond) and Goldfinger to play that nice little match where Bond turns the tables on a cheating Goldfinger to beat him.

Peter Jacobsen made the tackle of a lifetime when a streaker ran onto the 18th green as he was sizing up his putt.  He put his head down and closed his eyes, hoping to steer clear of the man’s equipment and brought him down for the Bobbies.

In 2003 Thomas Bjorn had a two stroke lead when he landed in a bunker on the par three 16th.  It took him three excruciating shots to get out and he never recovered.

Jack Nicklaus shot an 83 here in the 1st round in 1981.  He had just found out his son was in an auto accident the night before.  His son was all right and Jack bounced back with a 66 in the second round.

Royal St. Georges is a private, male only club.  R & A chief Peter Dawson says, “We don’t use The Open for social engineering.” Way to go Pete, no political correctness here.

Do you believe in miracles? Ben Curtis does.  He was the 396th ranked player in the world when he won here in 2003.



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