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Golf: The Open Championship: THE OPEN HOLE BY HOLE.

Royal St Georges in Kent will measure 7,106 yards for the 2003 Open Championship, 246 yards longer than the course over which Greg Norman won the title in 1993.

Eight new tees have been constructed and the 14th green has been moved back 43 yards. The fourth hole, 29 yards longer at 497 yards, becomes a par five.

Here is the hole-by-hole guide, complete with the details of Greg Norman's winning round of 64 in 1993 and Henry Cotton's then Open record of 64 set in 1934.

1(442 yards, par four): Essential to get a good drive away. Raised area known as 'The Kitchen' is a 250-yard carry and if you make it --and are straight --the approach over cross-bunkers to a green that falls away on the right is much easier. Prevailing wind is right to left.

Norman: driver, nine iron to nine feet, one putt. Cotton: driver, spade mashie, two putts.

2(418 yards, par four): First of the lengthened holes, but still a good birdie chance. The two bunkers on the angle of the dogleg now require a carry of over 260 yards and many may opt for the safer route right of them, which still leaves a shortish iron to a raised green which tilts from back to front.

Norman: three wood, sand wedge to 14ft, two putts. Cotton: driver, niblick to 12ft, one putt.

3(210 yards, par three): A very demanding par three to a long narrow green with a ridge halfway up it. Sand dunes left, right and behind add to the degree of difficulty of a hole which in 1993 ranked the third most difficult.

Norman: four iron to 25ft, one putt. Cotton: three wood, two putts.

4(497 yards, par five): The hardest hole on the course ten years ago --only then it was a par four. It is nearly 30 yards longer now and the huge bunker set in the hill in front of the tee looks more of a menace, but once over it the chance to pick up a shot or even two could produce some thrills and spills. Out of bounds awaits anything long.

Norman: driver, six iron to 40ft, two putts. Cotton: driver, three wood, two putts.

5(420 yards, par four): Helped by a strong following wind John Daly drove the green once in practice, but normally it's an iron for position, trying to avoid the bunkers down the left, and then an approach over the sandhills to a long green which has out of bounds out to the right.

Norman: five iron, seven iron to 25ft, two putts. Cotton: driver, three iron, chip, one putt.

6(172 yards, par three): The hill known as 'The Maiden' towers above the green on the left and four bunkers ring a two-tier green where picking the right club is critical, especially in windy conditions. Even though it is now slightly longer it is a hole which does not scare anybody --but deserves respect.

Norman: five iron to 12ft, one putt. Cotton: spade mashie, two putts.

7(532 yards, par five): A blind drive to a fairway which caneasily kick the ball into the rough, especially as it turns slightly left around the 300-yard mark. But the fact it was ranked the easiest of all 18 in 1993, with not a single double bogey all week and 25 of the 27 eagles achieved around the course, tells its own story. An opportunity to strike.

Norman: three wood, four iron left of green, three putts. Cotton: driver, three wood, chip, one putt.

8(455 yards, par four): Originally a par three, but now a really tough four with a drive uphill and then a turn right for a second shot over an area of rough stretching about 80 yards in front of a long, undulating green. Four never a bad score here, especially as it often plays into the wind and now that a new tee has added 37 yards.

Norman: driver, six iron, chip to 4ft, one putt. Cotton (par 3): spade mashie into bunker, sand wedge, two putts.

9(388 yards, par four): Those opting for caution off the tee have to be wary of a bunker pinching in from the right and the humps and hollows of the fairway can produce some nasty bounces. Two bunkers 65 yards short of the green should not be a problem, but this is a tricky green with drop away areas on all sides.

Norman: three wood, nine iron to six inches, one putt. Cotton: driver, mashie niblick, two putts.

10 (414 yards, par four): Tom Kite went from bunker to bunker for a double bogey six when leading in 1985. The green is perched up on high and because the penalty for going long is so severe many err the other way and come up short. There were 16 sixes or worse here in 1993 --more than there were on the par five seventh. Fifteen yards longer this year.

Norman: driver, eight iron to 20ft, two putts. Cotton: driver, mashie niblick, two putts.

11 (242 yards, par three): A new tee has beefed up the hole from its previous 216 yards. Five bunkers, three left, two right, catch the wayward shot and the green finds many people out. New members of Royal St George's are advised early on never to concede a putt here because so many short ones have been missed over the years.

Norman: five iron, chip to 7ft, one putt. Cotton (par 4): driver, mashie niblick, one putt. 12 (381 yards, par four): A dogleg right which ought to yield a bucket-load of birdies. Trying to bite too much off the corner can create problems, though. Beyond the bunkered ridge is some very undulating land and five more traps are just short of the green.

Norman: driver, sand wedge to 4ft, one putt. Cotton: driver into bunker, on green, two putts.

13 (459 yards, par four): A blind drive with the rundown former clubhouse of the Princes club in the distance. The fairway narrows at around 260 yards with bunkers left and right. The green, with out of bounds beyond, is 42 yards deep with a ridge down its length.

Norman: three wood, wedge to 18ft, two putts. Cotton: driver, three iron, chip to 3ft, one putt.

14 (550 yards, par five): Probably the most famous hole on the course, with out of bounds the entire length to the right and the Suez Canal across the fairway at 328 yards. The green has been moved back 43 yards, making it out of reach for most --and to everybody when it plays into the wind. There were 22 sevens or worse in 1993, with one of the sevens costing Bernhard Langer dear --he finished three behind Norman.

Norman: driver, three wood, sand wedge to six inches, one putt. Cotton: driver, three wood, two putts.

15 (475 yards, par four): Another demanding hole, with bunkers waiting left and right off the tee and then more sand short of the green. Because of them approach shots have to carry the whole way to a green which has some steep drops. Ranked seventh toughest ten years ago.

Norman: driver, six iron missed green, two putts from 95ft. Cotton: driver, two iron, chip, one putt.

16 (163 yards, par three): Tony Jacklin achieved the first televised hole-in-one here in the 1967 Dunlop Masters. No fewer than eight bunkers ring the green, but while capable of causing a headache the hole is bit of a breather before the gruelling finish.

Norman: five iron to 4ft, one putt. Cotton: mashie niblick, two putts.

17 (428 yards, par four): Greg Norman missed an 18-inch putt here for the only bogey in his winning round, but it is tee to green where most problems come. The hole plays into the prevailing wind and the green is raised on a plateau, causing anything short to roll back down and leave an awkward chip. Paul Lawrie solved that in 1993 by holing his second shot, but it ranked the fourth toughest hole that week.

Norman: driver, three iron to 25ft, three putts. Cotton: driver, spade mashie to 3ft, one putt.

18 (460 yards, par four): Second hardest hole in 1993 and with the fourth changing to a par five likely to be the hardest this year. Two well-hit shots needed to find the green and, as Sandy Lyle in particular will remember, left of the putting surface is Duncan's Hollow. Needing a four to with tie Walter Hagen in 1922, George Duncan went down in the dip and failed to get up and down. Lyle did not achieve it either, but for him a five proved good enough.

Norman: driver, four iron to 18ft, two putts. Cotton: driver, two iron to 7ft, one putt.


Object of desire . . . the Claret Jug awaits its winner at Royal St George's Golf Club in Sandwich; The 475-yard, par four 15th hole where bunkers mean approach shots have to carry the whole way to the green
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 12, 2003
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