Following a hugely successful staging of The 148th Open at Royal Portrush last week, the countdown has started for the return of The Open to Sandwich in July 2020 - and Kent is getting ready, with 353 days to go.
From 12-19 July 2020, Royal St George’s will host The 149th Open, having already hosted golf’s original championship an impressive 14 times, most recently in 2011 when Darren Clarke lifted the famous Claret Jug.
Tickets for The 149th Open went on sale earlier this month and it has already been confirmed as a record breaking launch, with the highest selling day of advanced tickets in the history of The Open. The R&A has also announced that more than 50% of all tickets available for the Championship have now been sold, with Weekly and Weekend Bundle ticket categories already sold out.
Dover District has hosted The Open 17 times. In the golfing world, White Cliffs Country is known principally for the three championship links golf courses, Royal St George’s, Royal Cinque Ports and Prince’s. Although Royal St George’s is the only golf course in the south of England currently in the pool of venues for The Open, Royal Cinque Ports also staged the championship in 1909 and 1920, and Prince’s in 1932.
The Open is one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious sporting events, and the only men's major golf championship held outside the USA. Its planning, organisation and delivery is a major logistical exercise and The R&A, Royal St George’s Golf Club, Dover District Council, Kent County Council, Sandwich Town Council, and a number of other organisations are working together to make sure we are ready to welcome the event. Latest research shows that The 147th Open, held at Carnoustie, delivered £120 million of economic benefit to Scotland.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said: “We have already experienced record levels of ticket sales for Royal St George’s next year and this clearly reflects the excitement among fans to be part of one of the world’s great sporting events. We are very much looking forward to returning to Kent for the first time in almost a decade and working with the local agencies to stage a fantastic Championship.”
Tim Checketts, Secretary at the Royal St George’s Golf Club, said: “After the huge success of Portrush, we are enormously excited to be welcoming the world’s best golfers back to St George’s next year. We face a very busy year ahead of us, working with all our local stakeholders to ensure that players, our members and spectators from all around the world enjoy a memorable week in Kent at the world’s most prestigious Championship.”
Cllr Nigel Collor, Dover District Council's lead Cabinet Member for The Open, said: “The 149th Open once again puts White Cliffs Country on the map to a major global audience. This gives us a fantastic opportunity to build on our excellent reputation in hosting this major sporting event, to extend our warmest welcome to visitors, and to showcase our beautiful district across the world.
“We’ll be keeping the local community updated regularly in the build up to the Championship, as well as working with all our partners to share our energy, passion and ambition, to make the most of the exciting opportunities that come with hosting such a high profile event.”
Mike Hill, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “We and our partner agencies have worked very hard to bring The Open back to Royal St George’s, which is the only eligible course south of Merseyside.
“The high profile and media coverage of this year’s event at Portrush shows how the profile of an area can be enhanced and we anticipate similar benefits to come from next year’s event for Sandwich and the surrounding area.
“The Open’s international reputation will attract significant media interest, draw large numbers of additional visitors into Kent and engage communities locally.
“KCC is working with partners to coordinate plans to raise the profile of the county as an attractive place to live, work and visit beyond the direct impact of The Open.”
Posted on 25 July 2019