What Would You Shoot Around Royal St George’s?

Here's what our forum members said...

What Would You Shoot Around Royal St George’s?
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Here's what our forum members said...

What Would You Shoot Around Royal St George’s?

Finger in the air time – what would you go round this year's Open Championship venue in relatively calm conditions?

The course is around 7200 yards, you've got spotters to help you along the way and there's around a 10mph wind.

Our forum members said…

What Would You Shoot Around Royal St George’s?

78 – (78 - 75.2) x 113/138 = 2.3 my current HI. But that is based on my best 40% of recent rounds. On a typically average day and with lack of familiarity of the course I should expect to be around 81 to 83 shots. Around 18 shots worse than the best scores there this week. And that would be a realistic score for me on any course that the best in the world are playing.

A shot-a-hole worse than the best on the day, says this 3-handicapper.

Voyager EMH

I'd run out of balls by the 9th I reckon.


Around 120 with a course handicap of 25. My driving recently has been quite good, a steady fade, but I'm quite a short hitter. My putting and bunker play is awful so I'll be stuck in a few of those bunkers.


I can honestly say around 120. No way I keep it straight enough over 18 holes to not lose some balls etc!


If into the wind I’d quite happily not play and just watch how all the handicap golfers take on the 4th....


Conservative estimate would 30 over if I played reasonably well. Plenty of the par 4s are too long for me to reach in two, two of the par 3s I'd be struggling to reach in one, plus there's a fair few holes where I'd be three-putting or not getting up and down from off the green, so not much chance of me breaking 100. Just looked it up on MyEG app, and off the Championship tees it says my course handicap is 19, which doesn't feel like enough shots to me. Haha.


I would guesstimate around 92 playing off 12. I play links golf on my home course, should be ok off the tee, love tight fairways for irons and wedges.. but putting could let me down.


We have done the Kent Links forum meet a few times and personally I find Royal Cinque Ports harder than St George's but I'd certainly need at least 100 shots off the normal tees, goodness knows from the Open tees.


I'm going for 82 off 3. Would need a few rounds to work out how to play the course.


I think I could break 80 off 8. Did it around Saunton East, if there are ball spotters then that would save me I think….

(24 hours later)

After watching the pros I am going to revise my scores to 90


The length would do for me as I tend to play ‘safely’ around most courses. I'd have a choice of hitting 5i off the tees to stay on the fairway, or taking the driver and ending up in the rough on 80 per cent of the holes. I play off 26 but I'd add a shot a hole to that, easy. So 114 would be my target. Throw in a couple of lost balls/3 off the tee /out of bounds then more likely 120.


RSG off the yellows, was very playable. Think I scored 34 points at the forum meet and about handicap(9) when I played there with son in summer. How playable it is off the back tees, will depend on how long are carries over the thick rough(so may become unplayable for someone who hits 220 though the air). I'll plumb for 98 on a good day.


HI of 14.7 On current form it could be anything between 85 and 120. I'd like to think if I put the woods away and just went 2-iron I could plot my way around fairly respectably. But my worry is I'd need a driver to reach the fairways and then it becomes a lottery!


I would be raising my bat for sure......


I’ve played it a few times (staying in the Dormy House and wearing long socks - which are probably in a drawer somewhere - once), though not off 7200yds! Scored close to handicap (once under) all but when a 'gale' was blowing.

Actually a simple enough course to play if, as I generally do, you hit it straight. The 'random' bounces can certainly make it 'interesting' though - and, for me, was/is an essential part of the experience! Off the length you specify, mid 80s to low 90s would have been an 'acceptable' score back then. I'm a crippled hacker these days (20-25 years later), so would probably lose my way and die in the long grass..


For the golfing elite, it is, relatively speaking, a piece of cake, the easiest Open course in history. I am off 13.7 index and don't carry my drives 130 yards. Off the Championship tees, I wouldn't even start. Off the appropriate tees, I'd hope to break 100.


Royal St Georges. EG tell me I'm getting 12 shots. My biggest challenge would be losing balls in the rough. At Silloth it was either on the fairway or lost, here I have spotters, so that isn't a problem. If I only hit half the fairways off the tee I'm hacking out seven times, so that them gone. I reckon that there are nine holes that I can comfortably reach in regulation and nine where I'll need to hit my very best to get on, so I reckon that I'll be chipping at least nine times. The greens look to be quite subtle and probably difficult to read (my Achilles heel), so there are going to be a good few three putts, I'm thinking another nine shots gone here. Assuming two or three duffs adding to my woes, then I'm looking at 19-over par 89. I'd take that all day long.


To put some perspective on this we are talking the back tees. The 4th off the tee those have been lucky enough to play the course will have used is 190 carry to the fairway and 220 to carry the Himalaya bunker. This week it is 230 to the fairway and 260 carry to clear the bunker. The rough when most of us have played it is down, at the moment it is up! I was there this afternoon, it was in my head a four-club wind. Most of us would rack up a big, big score, trust me playing the course in the condition and length these guys are facing.


I've played there when the rough was up. You really don't realise on the telly how thick the bloody stuff is. If you knocked 10 balls into it, without ball spotters you'd be lucky to find eight of them it's that bad. It really is soul destroying. Not to mention what it does to your card. Take the spotters away and I reckon half of the field would be shooting in the 90s.


On a really good day all parts of the game good off 6 = 78/80. Average day 85/86. Bad day just pluck any score out but sure it wouldn’t be pretty or enjoyable.


After playing there a few years ago I would break down in tears as the pro tees are in a different post code on some holes.


12 par 4s over 400yds, two of which are beyond 475yds, which used to be the distance par 5s start for us mortals. Two par 3s well over 200yds. Narrow fairways and huge carries off the tee. Handicap of 6, though I’ve not played a competitive round for 19 months, I’d be chuffed to break 100. If I got close to 90 I’d be dancing. Every missed fairway, assuming the ball would be found, would be a double bogey at best. Maybe 110-115 is more realistic.


On a perfect, sunny, calm day 6 handicap me plotted my way around Birkdale in 78 off the yellows. I played the best golf of my life that day I reckon, had the 2 iron on a string all day and only pulled driver three times. I often took a walk back to the back tees just to see what’s what. My 2-iron wouldn’t carry on many holes and I’d be forced into driver. What’s more if I made it I’d have 200+ in to plenty holes. Not the wedges and 9-irons I was gifted off the yellows. And the pins weren’t exactly Open locations either, I was forever above the hole but lagged well and tidied up. The caddies at St Andrews and Carnoustie showed me the Open pin placements and frankly madam they are ridiculous.

If I shot 90 there, or any Open venue off the back tees with those pins, I’d be so chuffed to bits I’d explode. If anyone would like to fund that dream I’ll set up a Justgivememoneytoplaygolf page.


The real question should be what would the pros score if they didn’t have ball spotters.


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Mark Townsend
Contributing editor

Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.