Royal St. George’s Kent, England

Three areas of the course saw adjustments at the end of 2008 following the new tee construction at the 3rd, 6th, 7th, 9th and 15th holes the previous year. Two of the areas had Darren Clarke's Open Championship of 2011 in mind. The third was the filling of a bunker at the par 3 16th hole, converting it into a hollow for maintenance reasons (not Thomas Bjorn’s bunker, of course!).

The 5th hole had a complex of humps and hollows created to the front right of the approach to the green. In the 2003 Open, wind conditions on some of the days meant that a number of the players were successful in attempting to clear the large dune system which divides the fairway of the dogleg par 4. Even with the wind, the carry of over 300 yards is an extremely impressive feat. The humps and hollows creation was implemented to provide subtle penalty to the golfers who make the carry but push the shot out to the right of the second part of the fairway. Thiscomplicates the approach to the green, especially when the flag is located at the front right part of the green.

The 18th hole was strengthened further by the addition of two fairway bunkers down its left side. This helped make the hole one of real decision making from the tee when conditions are still or downwind. The new bunkers, set at around 260 and 290 yards from the tee, gather a lot of shots running off the dominant hill in the middle of the fairway. If this length of drive is to be contemplated, the right hand side of the hole will have to be favoured, and the fairway has been extended on this side to make it slightly easier for balls to stay on the cut surface. This requires an accurate tee shot, but the line in from this side will be more difficult to the green, which is protected by the deep bunker at the front right and Duncan’s Hollow to the left. Some may prefer to play a shorter tee shot, taking the bunkers out of play and leaving a better line in.