Prince's has a proud and long standing association with the oldest and most international championship in professional golf.
Qualifying was held on Monday and Tuesday, 13th and 14th June with competitors playing one round each at both Prince’s and Royal St George’s. Early starters on the Monday had to contend with a strong, bitingly cold wind, which abated in the afternoon. Conditions for the Tuesday and for the Championship proper on the following three days were ideal for low scoring. Probably the most notable player who failed to qualify was James Braid, by then 62 years old, and the winner of five Opens between 1901 and 1910.
Gene Sarazen led the Championship after every round to finish in a record low score of 283, five shots ahead of Macdonald Smith and six ahead of Arthur Havers. Two rounds were played on the Friday and with a course record 68 in the third round, Arthur Havers moved to within four shots of Sarazen, but he was unable to repeat the performance in the afternoon when he carded a 76. Percy Alliss was one of three players tied for fourth place, following his third place the year before at Carnoustie. On nine occasions he finished in the top ten in the Open.
Despite a high fever, Henry Cotton fortified by champagne, made a good start to his first round only to slip down the field with a third round 77 to a total of 295. He had to wait two more years to record his first Open victory across the fence at George’s.
Princes Golf Club has featured as a Local Final Qualifying venue for the Open Championship each time it has been held at The Royal St Georges Golf Club since 1981. It has returned on four occasions since then, the most recently in 2003 when European Tour Players Jarrod Moseley and Steen Tinning shared the honour of Top Qualifiers. The two played their way round the 7145 yard Shore and Dunes Courses to claim their place in the 2003 Open Championship. The dramatic final day also saw Ian Woosnam chipping in for a birdie at the first hole of a five-way play off to secure a start in the Championship. Other notable winners include Howard Clark, now a Sky Sports commentator, in 1993 and John Fowler in 1981
Princes Golf Club is very proud to be one of only fourteen venues to have been selected by the R&A to host the Open Championship.
The Open Championship once again returned to our neighbour, The Royal St Georges Golf Club in July 2011. A tough week saw the weather turn over the weekend making play extremely challenging for all the players. Local Professional, Francis McGuirk, qualified round his home course to make a dream come true and play in the famous event at The Royal St Georges Golf Club.
Prince’s was pleased to welcome over a thousand guests for the week of The Open Championship, it was a great to see everyone stopping to see the top players in the event. The Shore and Dunes courses allowed players to see the play at the 13th and 14th holes, ensuring them ideal viewing to get a few tips from the top players in the game and see some of their heroes. You cannot get closer to an Open Championship than Prince’s.
Prince's hosted various events during the week including:
Callaway Golf Day
Prince’s was completely taken over for an evening with Callaway Golf, Tour Players including Alvaro Quiros, Alex Noren and Danny Willett all took part in challenges around the clubhouse. The first challenge was for nearest the pin from the 1st Dunes to the 9th Dunes!! Alex Noren then showed off his short game, including the famous “Back Flipper” in the newly revetted bunkers on the chipping green. Alvaro Quiros then tried to smash the ball down the 9th fairway for a long drive competition with the other Pros trying to keep up.
Puma/Cobra Golf Day
The Puma Cobra day started with a fresh breeze which picked up over night and made play over the Himalayas course very challenging. The Puma boys worked late in to the early hours to have the Puma Cobra Cube up with their products, check out our Facebook page to see all of the photos. Each player was kitted out from head to toe on Puma, The Puma Cobra Open saw them play 12 holes on the Himalayas including a Par 7 hole and two holes on the beach, everyone was trying to keep away from the joker cards which saw them playing the hole naked! Its was then on to the Casino where many of the teams lost all their points! Some were even fortunate to play Table Tennis against Ian Poulter.
The Golf Monthly Centenary Party
Prince’s hosted The Golf Monthly Centenary Party, the party was hosted by Editor Mike Harris and Andrew Boxer of Golf Monthly. Over 160 people visited the club for an evening of wine, local Beer as well as a “Taste of Britain” Canapé dinner including Welsh Rarebit, ForFar Bridies and local Cod and Chips. The party went on in to the early hours, with everyone wishing Golf Monthly the best of luck for the next 100 years.
Golf Monthly also held their Reader Forum Day, Golf Monthly’s Top 25 Coaches taught various aspects of the game across the Himalayas course. The wind was a challenge but it was a great excuse to show off some links golf specialist shots.
The Shepherd Neame Golf Challenge
The Shepherd Neame Open Challenge took place, 72 players had a day of Golf including 18 holes on Local Final Qualifying course Shore and Dunes, it was then off to The Open to see the final days play. The players started the day with a Buffet Breakfast and a packed Lunch to take to The Open, it was then back for a BBQ dinner to watch the speeches and prize giving.
It was fantastic to see Darren Clarke lift the Claret Jug, a very worthy winner. The celebrations went on in to the night, many local residents were fortunate to see Darren in his front garden in Sandwich and share the celebrations with a Guinness or two.
The Green Keepers from Prince’s also showed off their handy work during the week of The Open with a revetted Bunker in the Tented Village, we hope you were all fortunate to play out of the bunker and see the craftsmanship at the HSBC area which has gone in across the courses at Prince’s. Click here to read more.