The History of The Open in Kent - Part 1

Darren Clarke, Ben Curtis, Greg Norman, Sandy Lyle… the list of Champions to have lifted the Claret Jug on Kent’s coast is a lengthy one (running to 17 names to be exact). As we commemorate what would have been the weekend of the 149th Open Championship here in the Garden of England, we're taking a look back through the archives and sharing Kent's long heritage in hosting this prestigious sporting event. 

Read on for the first instalment, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next chapter of the famous Claret Jug's journey in Kent... 

Part 1: 

With 14 Open Championships to its name Royal St George’s has hosted the famous championship more times than any other course outside of Scotland. But how did it all begin? In 1887 Scottish founder Dr William Laidlaw Purves’ dream of creating a rival course to the iconic St Andrews was finally realised. It’s said Purves first spotted the land that was to become Royal St George’s from St Clement’s Church tower in Sandwich and just a few years later that very land staged the first Open Championship to be held outside of Scotland.

With reduced rail fairs negotiated to encourage Scottish pros to make the trip south, it’s safe to say there was a little uncertainty over the turnout for England’s inaugural staging, but with 94 starters, the event saw record numbers since the Championship began. But that wasn’t the only record of the week. After a close first couple of rounds between Douglas Rolland, Andrew Kirkaldy and John Henry Taylor, Taylor took the lead with a total of 326, the highest to ever win The Open!

Do you have your own favourite memory of @TheOpen Championship in Kent? If so, don't forget to share it with us tagging @GolfInKent on Twitter, we'd love to hear from you.

We can't wait to welcome golfers from all over the world to enjoy our golf courses, and the range of wonderful activities Kent has to offer, when the prestigious Claret Jug returns to Royal St George's in 2021!

Special offers

Over to you! With so many sensational courses, reopening and ready to welcome you, why not check out their latest offers and make your own history on Kent's courses? 

Hever Castle Golf Club

Championship Course:
Mon- Fri After 12pm £60 & after 4pm £39

Princes Course:
All week £20 9 holes or £30 18 holes

London Golf Club 

International Course:

Book between 1st and 31st July for the chance to win a Limited Edition Titleist Tour Bag.

Monday - Thursday
£115.00 per player(before 3 PM)
£75.00 per player(after 3 PM)


Play the championship course this July and be one of the first returning guests to stay at The Lodge and play all 27 holes! 

1 night B&B single occupancy • 2 days golf (up to 27 holes each day) • 2 course Dinner • £20 Pro Shop voucher - Sun – Thur £229pp Fri & Sat £259pp