Published: 06:00, 20 April 2020
Royal St George’s Golf Club are determined to make next year’s Open the best yet.
The club in Sandwich were due to host the 149th Open this summer but it’s been postponed for a year because of the coronavirus crisis.
July’s event was to be the 15th time Royal St George’s at hosted The Open but they are determined to put on a real show when it returns now in 2021.
Tim Checketts, secretary of the club, said: “We are of course disappointed about the cancellation of The Open at Royal St George’s this year, but it was the right decision given the current circumstances.
“However, we now have an opportunity to build on the huge amount of work already in place, to ensure that The 149th Open at Royal St George’s will be the biggest and best yet and a true celebration of the return of major golf to this country.”
The club are a member of the Golf in Kent Partnership which includes some of Kent’s finest golf courses, Visit Kent and some of the county’s best accommodation providers such as The Lodge at Prince’s Golf Club.
The Open will take place next year between July 11-18.
This year’s event was cancelled earlier in the month, with organisers the R&A saying: “Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in The Open.
“We care deeply about this historic Championship and have made this decision with a heavy heart. We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people around the world but we have to act responsibly during this pandemic and it is the right thing to do.”
Golf in Kent is keen to look to the future and focus on the positive aspects of hosting The Open next year.
Deirdre Wells, chief executive of Visit Kent said: “We are determined to use the fact that Kent will now host The 149th Open in 2021 as a positive and build on the excellent preparation we have undertaken over the past nine months to deliver the very best Open possible in our county next year.
“We look forward to welcoming golfers from all over the world to enjoy our golf courses and all the other wonderful attractions and activities that Kent has to offer.
“The 149th Open will be an excellent opportunity to support both the clubs and Kent businesses and support them in rebuilding the visitor economy, which is worth nearly £4 billion to the county.”
Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Leader of Dover District Council, which has been instrumental in the planning process for The Open said: “Naturally, as hosts we are disappointed, and it is another blow to the visitor economy. However, I am delighted that The R&A has confirmed that The 149th Open will be played at Royal St George's in July 2021, and heralding a major stimulus to the local economy as we rebuild.
“Celebrating Royal St George’s long and enduring relationship with The Open, it will be back, bigger and better next year.”