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The 149th Open: Information for local residents and businesses 

Staging The Open in 2021

In 2021, The Open Championship returns to Royal St George’s for the first time since 2011.  The 149th Open will be played from Sunday, 11th July to Sunday, 18th July 2021.

The Championship, originally scheduled for 2020, was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic but planning and preparations have continued, ensuring full compliance with all government guidelines.

The first priority is the safety of the players, officials, spectators, volunteers, event staff and the local community. Rigorous protocols are in place at Royal St George’s.

The R&A has worked tirelessly with public health officials both nationally and locally as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme and we’re doing everything to minimise the risks and to ensure that everyone can enjoy a week of world-class golf.


The 149th Open is part of the Government’s Event’s Research Programme (ERP), and as such a requirement for all attendees aged 11 or over is to have either:

  • proof of a double vaccination, or
  • proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test (LFT)

Spectators are also required to complete three pre-attendance Covid-19 protocols within The Open Tickets App:

These protocols will appear in The Open Tickets App shortly before your attendance.

Face masks are not mandatory in outdoor areas but are recommended. Masks must be worn indoors (e.g. The Open Shop, on Park & Ride buses, or in Hospitality facilities when not seated). 

Temporary Traffic Restrictions (11-18 July 2021)

Temporary traffic restrictions will be in place on various roads in Sandwich, Deal and surrounding areas, to ensure smooth traffic flows and minimise congestion from 11-18 July 2021. 

A multi-agency traffic plan will be in place during the event to enable the large volumes of visitors to get to and from the golf course, whilst accommodating the needs of residents and businesses.

The restrictions are briefly outlined below, followed by more detailed summaries.  Click on the links for full details of the attached Public Notices and refer to the accompanying map below.

  • Footpath Closures – the footpaths which fall within the boundary of Royal St George’s Golf Links will be fully closed throughout the event, with a signposted diversion
  • Road closures (Sandwich & Deal) - various roads will need to be closed, with access maintained for Permit Holders where applicable
  • One-way traffic (Sandwich & Deal) – certain roads will become one-way only, and in some instances, the direction of travel will be reversed during the day, so that traffic is routed towards the event in the morning and away from the event in the afternoons, known as ‘Tidal Flow’
  • Parking restrictions – parking will be prohibited between 6.00 am and 10.00 pm each day on various roads in Sandwich, Deal, Cliffsend and surrounding villages
  • Speed limits – for safety reasons, speed limits will need to be imposed on approach roads to the venue and car parks, as shown on site

Map of The 149th Open Traffic Restrictions

Train travel to The 149th Open

Southeastern provide train services between London terminal stations to destinations across Kent and East Sussex. It also operates the UK’s only domestic high speed rail service, with trains running to and from London St Pancras International. 

Trains for The 149th Open Golf Championship will run from London St Pancras International to Sandwich – the nearest station to Royal St George’s Golf Club. These trains will also call at stations such as Ashford International, Stratford International and Ebbsfleet International, and connecting services will allow travel to destinations such as Canterbury, Dover and Folkestone. 

Southeastern is running additional trains to accommodate extra passengers and all passengers will require a mandatory reservation on certain morning trains from London St Pancras International to Sandwich and all stations along the route for the duration of The 149th Open. Reservations will apply from 06:00 – 10:37 (10:34 on 17 July) and will guarantee a space on the train but not necessarily a seat, spaces will sell quickly, so book as soon as you can to avoid disappointment. 

No reservation is required on the return journey and a managed queuing system will be in place at Sandwich to assist passengers with their journey. 

Highspeed trains from London St Pancras International take around 1 hour and 30 minutes to Sandwich, and a dedicated, traffic-free walking route will be provided between the train station and Royal St George's Golf Club, which will take around 15-20 minutes. 

If you require assistance whilst travelling, you can book Passenger Assist online or through Southeastern’s app. Please book at least 6 hours in advance of the start of your journey. If you require assistance between the station and the golf course, details can be obtained by contacting The Open Ticket Office on 01334 460010 or by emailing tickets@randa.org


As part of improving the transport plan for The Open we have sought to reduce the number of cars parked locally to the venue by 50% compared to 2011. We will achieve this by providing more park and ride sites to both the north and south of Sandwich and the golf course. These additional parking facilities will be served directly from the strategic road network and will create capacity for around 12,000 cars.

There will be no public car parking at Royal St George’s Golf Club or in the immediate surrounding area. All public parking will be located at The Open Park & Ride facilities, where dedicated buses will be available to transport spectators to the course.

Spectators choosing to travel to the event by car or motorcycle will be directed to The Open Park & Ride sites by Variable Messaging Signs (VMS) and specific black and yellow event signs provided by The AA.

Spectators are advised to switch off satellite navigation systems and follow the appropriate signage.

The northern park and ride site is to be located on farmland to the west of Cliffsend village, situated directly adjacent to the A299 Hengist Way.

In order for cars and buses to safely access and exit the Park and Ride site and to keep congestion to a minimum, Canterbury Road West will be closed to through traffic from Sunday 11th July through to Monday 19th July. Canterbury Road West will be closed to the west of number 54, where the large Jentex and Manston Airfield exit points are located. The remainder of the road to the Cliffsend Roundabout on the A256 will only be available to traffic using the Park and Ride site.

As part of this closure, the traffic signals at the traffic calming chicane will be switched off and the traffic will be controlled by marshals. When the Park and Ride operation is not in use overnight and the marshals are not in attendance, the road will remain closed and sterile for the safety of the public. 

Access to all properties will be maintained from the eastern end of Canterbury Road West, off of Lord of the Manor interchange.

Arrangements for Taxis 

A road closure will be in place along Sandown Road, Guilford Road and Golf Road from the junction of St George’s Road in Sandwich to the junction of Ethelbert Road in Deal from 11-18 July 2021.

Local taxi drivers can request a permit to access the closed road for general business requirements and to the venue for drop off and collection of passengers attending The Open.

A dedicated taxi area will be located in the Purple B car park, close to the main entrance of the venue. This will be clearly signposted on event signage.

To request a permit to gain access through the road closure, please register in advance by submitting your full name, contact details, vehicle registration number and PHV licence number via email to golf.enquiries@dover.gov.uk with the subject header “Taxi Permit Request” before 30 June. Weekly permits will be available for collection on or after Sunday 11 July from The Open Parking Office located in the Coach Park off Sandown Road, Sandwich.

If you have any queries in relation to taxi operations at The Open please email the above contact.

DDC Car Parks in Sandwich

To ensure local residents and businesses can still use DDC's car parks, and to encourage spectators for The Open to use the official Park-and-Ride facilities, the DDC car parks at The Guildhall, The Quay and Gazen Salts will all have a temporary four hour maximum stay for the duration of The Open (11-18 July 2021). Sandwich Zone J and Sandwich Business permit holders will not be affected by the changes to the maximum stay periods.  

Public Footpaths

Public Footpath EE231, which forms part of the Saxon Shore Way and passes through Royal St George’s Golf Club, is closed for its entire length (from North Stream to Prince’s Drive) from Tuesday 6 April until Friday 20 August 2021. An alternative route between the Green Wall path and the beach will be signposted along public footpaths ES1 and EE230 via the Stour Valley Walk. This footpath closure is necessary to ensure the safety of members of the public and contractors due to the construction work taking place around the golf course.

Map for construction

Parking Restrictions

To facilitate the safe movement of HGVs to and from the venue and ensure the safety of the public, temporary ‘no waiting’ (no parking) restrictions on St George’s Road were implemented from Monday 29 March and remain in place until Saturday 10 July.

These restrictions will then be re-implemented on St George’s Road after The Open (Monday 19 July) and remain in place whilst infrastructure is removed from the venue, with an estimated completion by 27 August.

Large delivery vehicles are held at the off-site reporting office and are not permitted to drive to and from Royal St George’s Golf Club between 8-9am and 3-4pm on weekdays. This is to avoid additional traffic congestion around school opening and closing times.

During the week of The Open, additional parking and traffic restrictions will be implemented on roads in Sandwich and Deal. 

Restriction of Flying Regulations 

The Secretary of State for Transport has decided that it is necessary to introduce Restriction of Flying Regulations under Article 239 of the Air Navigation Order 2016 between 0400 hours and 2100 hours on each day of The Open, beginning on 11 July 2021 and ending on 19 July 2021.  See Aeronautical Information Circular M 48/2021.

Resident Access Permits

From 11 to 18 July 2021 temporary traffic restrictions will be in place in Sandwich, Deal and the surrounding area, in order to manage traffic flows to and from The Open and minimise congestion in the town.

For residents and businesses affected by these changes we are implementing a permit scheme.

Local residents do not require permits to access Sandwich town centre.  Permits will required by residents and businesses to access some areas in Sandwich, including locations near to Royal St George's Golf Club and the Sandwich Bay Estate. These include:

In Sandwich, residents and businesses on:

  • Guilford Road, King’s Avenue, New Downs Farm, North Road, Prince’s Drive, Sandown Lees, Sandown Road, Waldershare Avenue

In Deal, residents and businesses on:

  • Golf Road (North of Ethelbert Road), Greenacres, Redhouse Wall

The deadline for resident access permits closed at midday on Wednesday 30th June.  For enquiries, email Golf.Enquiries@dover.gov.uk

Displaced Parking Permits

Residents who may be affected by road closures and 'no waiting restrictions' in place during The Open can apply for a Displaced Parking Permit giving them access to the Coach Park, off Sandown Road. This is open to any resident or business owner who requires parking provision during the week of The Open. 

The deadline for displaced parking permits closed at midday on Wednesday 30th June.  For enquiries, email Golf.Enquiries@dover.gov.uk 

Further Information

The R&A wishes to thank all local residents and businesses for their patience and understanding during The Open. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause to local residents.

If you require more information or wish to raise a query please contact:

Business Toolkit

Want to know how your business can get involved and make the most of the opportunities from The Open?  See The Open Business Toolkit, packed with hints and tips on making the most of the commercial opportunities that come with hosting one of the world's greatest sporting events.

Tickets for The Open

If you're planning a visit to The Open its important that you only buy tickets from official sources, including TheOpen.com or The R&A's Authorised Ticket Providers.

Any tickets made available on websites such as Viagogo, Safetickets.net, Stubhub, eBay and Gumtree are done so without the permission of The R&A and as such, may be refused entry to the Championship.

Community engagement

Community drop-in events were held on 30 May 2019, and on 10 February 2020.  A planned event in May 2021 is now an online exhibition due to Covid-19 restrictions.

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